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The tree to be removed.

Inner West Council – Marrickville have given notice that they intend to remove a Small-leafed peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 80 Denison Road Dulwich Hill.

They give the following reasons –

  • “The tree is in poor structural condition, has recently suffered a significant branch failure and exhibits extensive stem decay which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council say they will replace with a Yellow bloodwood (Corymbia eximia) in the 2018 planting season.

There was no Notification of Removal on the tree.

Yellow bloodwood is an Australian native with a round canopy that grows to 10-metres. It has scaly yellow-brown bark & broad, thick, curved, blueish-green leaves.  In spring, it produces large clusters of creamy flowers in clusters, which attract birds & insects.  Nice choice.

Small leaf Peppermint up for removal


The healthy Bottlebrush  outside 3 Derby Street Camperdown.

The healthy Small leaf lilly pilly outside 7 Derby Street Camperdown

The worst part of the footpath outside 7 Derby Street. You can also see an NBN channel.

Inner West Council – Marrickville have given notice that they intend to remove 4 trees in Camperdown.

Tree number 1:  A Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis ) outside 3 Derby Street Camperdown.

Tree number 2:  A Small leaf lilly pilly (Syzygium species) outside 7 Derby Street Camperdown.

The footpath is narrow & has two small, but healthy trees.   I was amazed that council even notified the community of their proposed removal because they appear to be under 5-metres.

I have noticed that people tend to walk with their dog down the road of this quiet back street rather than along the footpath.   If a car does come down Derby Street, it is easy to get off the road.

To lose both these trees to replace a footpath does not seem necessary to me.  I am pretty certain that the footpath can be replaced while keeping the trees.  To replace only one of these trees in this location is another loss despite the proposed planting of a spotted gum on O’Dea Reserve around the corner.  I am not a fan of removing trees from one location to plant in another.   If there is room to plant a Spotted gum in O-dead Reserve, Council should do it anyway.

Derby Street will be down one tree.  I think Council should be looking to find more planting places for street trees, not reducing them.

Then there is the issue of new tree plantings failing to survive & if the new tree does survive, the years it will take before it produces amenity & benefits.  Currently, the two healthy trees provide both amenity & benefits.

Neither tree had a Notification of Removal sign on them.

Tree number 3:  A Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) outside 2 Ross Street Camperdown.  I first saw the Weeping fig in 2011 when I posted about O’Dea Reserve.  Even then I was surprised this tree was allowed to remain in this position because it was causing significant issues with the footpath.  Now it has moved on to damaging the brick fence.  I highly doubt this tree was planted by Council.  Weeping figs are sold as lush pot plants & many people decide they would be good to put in the ground.  The problem is that this tree has very strong roots & can grow into a large tree.  I think it should be removed.

This tree did not have a Notification of Removal sign on it.

Tree number 4:  A Chinese hackberry (Celtis sinensis) adjacent 2A Eton Street Camperdown.   I could not find this tree.  A resident tried to help me find the address to no avail.

Council give the following reasons for wanting to remove the above trees –

  • To undertake capital footpath reconstruction and kerb extension improvement works, including replacement tree planting.
  • To remove trees that are either inappropriate species, in poor condition and/or unsustainable in the planted location.”

Council says they will replace these trees with –

  • 1  Black tea tree (Melaleuca bracteata) in road tree planting outside 7 Derby Street.
  • 1  Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) in O’Dea Reserve.

That is 4 trees removed to be replaced with two, which is not good in my opinion.  Council do not say when they will plant them.

Black tea tree is an Australian native & is usually described as a medium sized shrub, but can reach 10-metres.  It has rough dark grey bark & produces white flowers in winter/spring/summer.  The flowers are attractive to birds, insects & butterflies.

Spotted gum is an Australian native that grows straight & tall.  It is known for its beautiful bark that shed in summer leaving behind creamy smooth bark with spots of older bark. It has dark green leaves & produces small clusters of fragrant white flowers from autumn to winter, which attract birds, bees & other insects.   It is a good tree for wildlife.

The bottom of the weeping fig in Ross Street Camperdown.  It is not too often I will say this, but this is the wrong tree for this space.

No street trees this side of the road anymore – why?

I suddenly remembered that I did not post about the street tree removal at Unwins Bridge Road St Peters that I saw way back in December 2017.   Better late than never.

Around 12 – 15 street trees had been chopped down from the corner of Campbell street & along the eastern side of Unwins Bridge Road.   The trees were Evergreen ash (Fraxinus griffithii) & most of them reached to the height limit below the powerlines. The area looks stark without them.  Luckily the residents there have big healthy fig trees across the road to provide a visual of green.

I spoke to two residents who said they came home from work to see the trees gone & had not received notification.  One resident was angry.  The other was feeling resigned.  None of us could work out why the trees were removed, though we did wonder whether it was connected to WestConnex, which barrels on down Campbell Street devouring everything in its way.

Street trees are vitally important in this location.  They always were because this is a main road, but the increased traffic of a motorway going through a densely populated suburb makes trees & their pollution management even more important.  Essential in my opinion.

So I thought it would be a good idea to revisit to see what has happened since I last went.  The answer is nothing.  The stumps are still in the ground & the footpath & houses are unprotected from the traffic zooming past.  It is hot too.  Such a shame.

I am hoping that in the next couple of months we will see replacement trees.   Surely the residents will not be expected to live without street trees.  Not there.

Another view further up Unwins Bridge Road

Brittle gum to be removed. The canopy of the tree behind makes this tree look fuller and healthier than it is. 

Inner West Council – Marrickville has given notice dated 10 January 2018 that they intend to remove two street trees.

Tree number 1:  A Brittle gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) outside 41 Stafford Street Stanmore.

They give the following reasons –

  • “Tree is in decline with significant decay and deadwood which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace with a Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma), but not when they will do this.

Tree number 2:  A Brittle Gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) adjacent to 50 Railway Avenue Stanmore.

They give the following reasons –

  • “Tree is in decline with significant decay and deadwood which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace this with two Scribbly Gum trees (Eucalyptus haemastoma), but not when they will do this.

It’s good that two trees are being replaced for one tree removed & also good that these are big tall Australian native trees that will provide habitat & food for wildlife.  Stanmore is lucky with all their big trees & these trees will continue on with this theme.

A screenshot of the Brittle gums. I am fairly sure the tree closest to the edge of the caravan is the one that is to be removed.  I saw no signage.

A lovely fig trees in Marrickville Golf Course.

Every year, between 3 & 4 million people around the world die as a result of air pollution & its lifelong impacts on human health, from asthma to cardiac disease to strokes.  

Each summer, thousands of unnecessary deaths result from heat waves in urban areas. Studies have shown that trees are a cost-effective solution for both of these challenges. 

And too often, the presence or absence of urban nature – & its myriad benefits – is tied to a neighbourhood’s income level, resulting in dramatic health inequities.  In some American cities, life expectations in different neighbourhoods, located just a few miles apart, can differ by as much as a decade.  Not all of this health disparity is connected to tree cover, but researchers are increasingly finding that neighbourhoods with fewer trees have worse health outcomes, so inequity in access to urban nature makes worse health inequities.”  ~ The Nature Conservancy 2017.

The report may have been about America’s urban forest, but it makes no difference.  The findings are useful world-wide, including our little patch in Sydney’s Inner West.

In my assessment the quality of the urban forest & the canopy cover of the former Marrickville municipality has not changed since the 2014 report, ‘Benchmarking Australia’s Urban Tree Canopy: An i–Tree Assessment, Final Report.’

Now we are amalgamated with Ashfield & Leichhardt municipalities, their urban forest becomes our concern & visa versa.  In 2014 the three municipalities scored the following –

Leichhardt was the winner with a 20.3% tree canopy & 59.8% hard surfaces.

Ashfield won second place with a 19.8% tree cover & 57.4% hard surfaces.

Marrickville came last with an abysmal 16.3% tree canopy & 63.4% hard surfaces.

This is not to say Inner West Council – Marrickville are not planting trees.  They are. They reported that they planted 1,000 street trees across the three former municipalities, which I think is not much & not nearly what is needed.   Council also removes trees.  Development is having an impact on the canopy & so is vandalism.  WestConnex is having a massive impact on tree removal along its above ground route.

I am not familiar with Ashfield, but having lived in the Inner West for the past 40-years, I am familiar with many of the streetscapes across the former Leichhardt & Marrickville municipalities.   I look at street trees that have been there for more than my 40-years & this is a great thing to see.  I am one of those people who love to look at trees.  They make me feel comfortable.  Treeless landscapes or skylines make me feel flat & oppressed.   Recent research has found my response is normal.  The research found that few trees in the landscape results in greater rates of depression & kids finding it hard to learn & retain information amongst other things.

My wish for 2018 is for the Inner West Council to significantly increase funding for street trees, parks & other green spaces.   If our area is to be made greener & healthier for us, then the number of street trees & park trees planted need to increase substantially.   More trees please.

It takes at least a decade for most trees to grow to a size where they have a visual impact, so if we are to get the amenity from trees like shade & clean air, then we need to get trees into the ground as soon as possible.    I say “most” because I have seen how fast a Poplar takes to reach a significant height.  These trees grow so fast you can almost watch it happen.

No-one can deny that it is hard being out on the streets in this hot summer weather.  I’ve been out most days & noticed that a lot of people are not coming out of their homes until 4pm or later due to the heat & lack of shade.

We in the community need to do our bit too.  We need to plant a tree or shrub in our garden if we have the space to do so.  We also need to make concrete gardens a thing of the past & give stamped concrete driveways the flick too.  These only make our house hotter & we pay higher power bills as a result.

I was very impressed with Inner West Council – Marrickville’s free tree giveaway for 2016-2017. It is a terrific initiative & will build upon the urban forest.  I hope the tree giveaway becomes a regular feature for National Tree Day.

Community attitudes toward trees are changing.  I have noticed more people like & want public trees compared to when I started this blog in 2009, which is  great & something Council should capitalise on.

With climate change making our seasons hotter, we need to make the changes that will cool down our streets & public spaces & planting trees is a major way to achieve this.  Plus, trees are beautiful & soften the landscape.  They make us feel good even when we are not aware of this.  They help keep us healthy & happy & they bring in more wildlife.    So, let’s make 2018 the year of tree awareness & get more trees in the ground.

Happy New Year.  I hope this is an excellent year for you & your loved ones.  Thank you for reading.  I appreciate it.  Jacqueline 🙂

Council did well to plant a gum tree here in this perfect place on Myrtle Street Marrickville, but someone did not think so.  It was vandalised 3 times….until it was dead. Thanks – not.



This photo was sent to me by a local resident. As you can see, there is a significant amount of the canopy on the ground ready to go through the woodchopper.  The tree that was pruned is visible behind the woodchopper.  Thanks to the resident for allowing me to use this photo.  

It is the season of peace & goodwill & I would prefer to be writing positive posts.  However, I am getting messages from distressed residents about Inner West Council – Marrickville’s tree pruning, so I need to write something.

Inner West Council is currently pruning the street trees in Marrickville South. I spoke to Council’s tree pruners earlier this year, so I was surprised when they were back again so soon.

Our street trees get “managed” from all directions – Ausgrid, development & Council.  Vandals also do things to the street trees, though I am not suggesting that Council are vandals.  Imagine having three groups coming on a regular basis to give you a haircut & maybe lop your ears off.  It is no wonder so many street trees look unattractive.

My observation with pruners is that they come once to prune.  The next time they come they take off more branches that were deemed okay the last visit & no, they haven’t grown so much to be noticeable.  Ausgrid does this & over.  In a very short time, the trees get reduced into a shadow of their former self.  Ausgrid prunes the top & Council prunes the bottom.

Inner West Council – Marrickville says on their website –

“Street trees will be pruned to:

  • Remove any dead, dying or dangerous branches
  • Allow clearance for pedestrians and vehicles
  • Allow clearance to buildings (where practicable)
  • Improve their health and structure.”

So, what is the problem?  This is what has been relayed to me.

I had no knowledge that this was happening today;… Apparently, they are pruning to Australian standards & to protect workers so grass can be mowed, and so footpath is clear & people can walk to their cars.  [they] were saying most people want the trees cut out!!”   Sounds reasonable except if you know the tree was not causing a problem to begin with.   I know this tree.  It was not intruding on the footpath, nor did it prevent people from getting to their car.  What it did have was branches low down on the trunk & as far as I have observed, this is not acceptable by Council.

“This work is being done on the smaller trees to “shape them” and make it easier for council to cut grass from base of trees and away from pedestrians using footpath. This means that the trees look like pom poms and the removal of the dense bottom canopy is not appealing at all to me.”   

“Contractor tried to tell me it’s not my tree & I have no right to protest it’s being trimmed; when I lovingly water it I feel I have some say in its up keep! And will continue fighting for it to live!!!!”    The photo above will show you just how much of the bottom canopy of this tree was removed.

The residents do not believe the trees needed pruning & if the tree  did by Council’s standards, the residents believe that the pruning was excessive.

It is heatwave conditions at the moment.  The weather forecast for the next week is four days well above 30 degrees & five days of extreme UV index.  It can’t be good for trees to undergo so much stress in these weather conditions.  I recently learnt that trees can get sunburnt.    We still have the really hot months ahead of us.

The trees are in flower providing much needed food for wildlife & also beauty for the streetscape.  Many people wait for the flowers on trees to bloom.  Much of the flowers went into the woodchipper.

Surely it is  better to prune trees when they aren’t in flower.  It would not matter so much if we had tonnes of food-producing trees across Inner West Council – Marrickville’s section, but we don’t.  Bird-life would not be missing out on essential food supply.

Inner West Council Marrickville says on their website –

Proactive maintenance based on an annual cycle and is carried out in within a precinct according to the calendar month, i.e. January is precinct one, February is precinct two and so on.”

I downloaded their map & saw that Marrickville South is allocated June, the 6th month.  It is December, the 12th month.  Enter the website  via the Marrickville portal & they say they are doing street tree maintainance & list streets in Balmain.  That’s a bit confusing. 

To finish, I do believe Council needs to ensure that their pruners do not over prune.  Council put up signs saying Ausgrid was over pruning trees.  This was great & wonderfully supportive for the community who were reeling from the damage to street trees done by Ausgrid pruners.  What is not so great is the community perception that Council are doing the same.

Tree number one – taller than a two-storey building. It used to look as lush as the tree behind it.

This is a fine example of tree vandalism on Liberty Street Stanmore.  Many thanks to the person who wrote & told me about it.

Two mature trees both dead.  I didn’t need to look hard to see the drill holes, which were plugged to keep the poison in & I presume to camouflage the holes.

There are four street trees along this block.  It goes – one dead tree, one living tree, one dead tree, one living tree.  Perhaps the vandal thought to confuse us or just had a natural sense of rhythm.  I don’t understand why anyone who would do this, except to say they are selfish.   The loss of these two trees will have a negative impact on the community.  This is a busy road & all the trees along here work hard to remove particulate matter & improve air quality.

I ask Inner West Council to replace them in the next planting season please.  If those trees get vandalized, plant again.

At some stage this council needs to consider CCTV in places where public trees are repeatedly vandalized.

Tree number two.

Poisoned and plugged

A small section of Sydney Park that was cleared to widen Campbell Street St Peters for WestConnex.

130,000 hectares of vegetation, including trees, has been lost to the construction of Stage 3 of WestConnex along the 7.5-kilometre tunnels between Haberfield & St Peters.  Sydney Park took a severe battering losing more then 500 trees.

In 2016 Roads & Maritine Services said that they would plant 3,500 replacement trees of a minimum pot size of 75 litres.  The trees would be about 3-metres or taller in size.  However, they have changed their mind allowing replacement trees of 150 mm pot size, “in pots as tall as a Bic-brand ballpoints…”  See –

“The RMS’ revised tree policy says only 500 trees will now be 75 litres; it argues there is simply not space for all trees to be as big as its initial commitment.”

The remaining 3,000 trees to be planted will be saplings.  My observation over the years is that saplings have a much harder time surviving than do more advanced size trees, so there is a big chance a large percentage of these trees will be lost.  Saplings are more sensitive to lack of water & they are also easier to vandalize.  They will be small enough for people to tread on them or simply snap their trunks.  If they do survive it will take years for these saplings to grow to a size where their risk is lower.

If as they say, “there is simply not space for all trees to be as big as its initial commitment,” what will happen in the unlikely event that all 3,000 saplings survive & grow to a decent size?  The government’s argument does not seem logical.  If you say you cannot fit in all the trees, why would planting saplings help the issue?

I think this change is being done to save money, yet the lack of decent size trees will have a cost on the community in terms of negative health impacts from the poor air quality produced by the thousands of vehicles that will use this motorway every day.  The very least the community needs is trees.  Filtered smoke stacks are essential too, but so far, this is not happening either.

There is a kind of despair I have noticed in my local community whenever WestConnex is raised.  People are angry that whole communities are being demolished & separated for this motorway.  It’s like a giant iron snake cleaving its way through the inner west & its source of nutrition is houses & trees.  If we do have to have this polluting road, then at least it should be hidden behind a bank of trees to not make the residents a further casualty in terms of loss of health.

There has been an abundance of research of late all showing how necessary trees are for human health.  Particulate matter spewed out in vehicle exhaust causes irritated eyes, nose & throat, heart & lung disease, including asthma & chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, increased hospital admissions & a reduction in life expectancy.  This is what the NSW government is gifting the people of the inner west if they do not plant sufficient trees to help mitigate the impact of this motorway.  I would argue that there will be a negative health impact of the motorway anyway, but to not plant decent sized trees is just asking for trouble.

A section of the tree removal in Sydney Park for WestConnex

A view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

Community consultation on site about the Inner West Council’s Masterplan for the 5.8km Greenway corridor.  There are two events locally, both for this coming Saturday.

WHERE:        Jack Shanahan Reserve at Hercules Street Dulwich Hill.
DATE:            Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             10am to 12pm

WHERE:        Hoskins Park at Pigott Street Dulwich Hill
WHEN:          Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             2pm to 4pm

Currently the Greenway starts at Grosvenor Crescent Lewisham & the shared pedestrian/bicycle path takes you all the way to the Parramatta River at the border of Haberfield & Leichhardt with the Hawthorn Canal dividing them.  It’s a lovely place in my opinion & a much needed haven for wildlife. I am very glad it is being completed.   I’ve written about the Greenway here –

From Have Your Say website – “The NSW Government and the new Inner West Council have announced a joint commitment of $14.5 million towards the cost of completing the GreenWay missing links. This will unlock approximately 3ha of open space not currently accessible to the community.”

The missing links will open the Greenway to the public from Lewisham all the way to the Cooks River beside Wardell Road Earlwood.  This will result in an off-road path from Earlwood to Leichhardt – safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Three hectares of linear open space is not to be scoffed at considering how poor the levels of green space is in the former Marrickville municipality area.  The Greenway is one of the few places locally where the tree canopy is consistent & reaches over my head.  It is the only one off road.   Hopefully, Inner West Council will plant big canopy trees & tall trees along the new section to create the same effect where trees create a buffer from the urban surroundings.  Let the Greenway truly be green.

You can also participate in community consultation online at –

Lorikeet feasting on spotted gum flowers from a tree in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

Tree removal in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

It’s been a long time between posts and that is because there is nothing much happening on the environmental front in the Marrickville section of the Inner West municipality – at least that I am aware of.   I may be forced to go into Ashfield & Leichhardt & see what money is being spent on those sections of the municipality.

I have noticed that a few small trees have been removed around the locality.  I have also noticed that street sections that have long been concrete have been blessed by trees planted over winter.  If they survive, that should make a big difference in beautifying the area.

I was at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park on the weekend & noticed that Council have not yet installed the ping pong tables promised for this park in 2012.  It’s not surprising because even the ‘avenue of trees’ for for Marrickville Road (from Victoria Road to Sydenham) planned way back in 2010 has not materialised either.    No ping pong, but this park has been blessed by big tall trees & it is quite lovely because of this.

The row of Spotted gums Marrickville Council planted along the pedestrian path alongside the sandstone wall of St Stephens Church have survived.   It was good to see Lorikeets feasting on the flowers of the only tree to have bloomed this year.  It does give an idea of the beauty in stall for us once all the trees mature.

A fresh stump drew my attention to what appears to be the loss of around half of the trees planted beside each park bench along the sandstone wall.

I was in Stanmore, Petersham & Newtown over the weekend & saw lots of Jacarandas in bloom.   The Inner West Courier have published a very nice video of a drone’s eye view of the Jacaranda trees in the Inner West. You can watch the video here –

Lastly, I went to the launch of Sydney City Farm at Sydney Park Sunday week ago.  I was disappointed at the low attendance numbers, but perhaps they all went earlier than I did.  City of Sydney offered a lot for people to see.  They also provided free gelato, which was nice on what was a very hot day.

I think the farm is lovely.  All the skips have been filled with soil & planted out.  There is a cluster of fruit trees in hexagon-shaped pots & I am interested in how they fare.  It is very attractive & worthwhile visiting if this sort of thing interests you.   I am not sure how they will grow enough produce to sustain the planned public farmer’s market, so this is another aspect to watch with interest.

Anyway, Sydney City Farm want community volunteers to work on the farm.  You do not need farming experience to get involved.  Email for more information – 

Sydney City Farm opening.

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