Did Laman Street figs survive this week’s 102km/hr wind? 5.8.2010


This week we had another storm. According to the Herald, ‘Wild weather of Pasha pedigree’ there were wind gusts up to 102km/hour.

No arborist could hope to replicate this test of tree stability. So far no tree has fallen over in beautiful canopied Laman Street – but then they didn’t fall over in the Pasha Bulker storm either.

I’m still waiting to hear that some or all of the trees failed. It’ll be interesting to have a look on the weekend and see if there are signs of root-plate failure in the tree whose root was cut in water works.

I received an email from one of the councillors this week. He had heard me on the radio saying that no branch has ever fallen from a Laman Street fig tree.

He wanted to  inform me that branches do fall off trees. A photo of a branch that had fallen – off a Moreton Bay fig, not a Hill’s fig – was provided. So I’m here to tell you that branches do fall off trees.( But they haven’t in Laman Street. The ‘independent’ arborist who wrote the report on Laman Street didn’t have concerns about the branches; he had concerns about the tree roots.)

 Perhaps the logical conclusion of this is that we should have no mature trees.  I’m told that a branch fell off a tree in Kahibah during this week’s storm but there are no dramatic fences around the tree.

If I look online for articles about trees, most of the hits are about cars running into trees rather than people being injured by falling trees. Power poles are a huge risk in Australia but we keep putting them in. In the 90s a study, ‘Putting Cables underground’, (quoted by Clover Moore here) was done which suggested that if we put all powerlines underground $100million a year would be saved because of the reduction in car accidents. There are poles called frangible or breakaway poles that could save lives but we’re still thinking about these…

Life and cars and trees can be dangerous. But the risk of being killed by a falling street tree in Australia is 1 in 20 million.

And here’s a sad bit of news I heard: the plan that Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens has to frighten away their flying fox colony, approved by Peter Garrett, is for 20 years. Politicians can’t usually make plans for a term as long as this, but for the destruction of bats, it’s OK. And did you know a Christmas Island bat became extinct last year? It was a microbat called the pipistrelle. Minister Garrett was not as helpful to the pipistrelle as he was to the Gardens trust.

And where’s some good news? Picked up documents and photos yesterday on the Laman Street tree ‘failures’ after the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm. Received them via FOI , the legislation for which has changed. It’s said to make it much more difficult for public bodies to refuse access now. I’ll post them on the weekend. And 200 people went to a forum on life after coal  last night – so some people will turn off the TV sometimes. The rain has gone for now and the sun was out today and the river looked stunning on my way home from work. Cheers.  Home


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One Response to “Did Laman Street figs survive this week’s 102km/hr wind? 5.8.2010”

  1. Ali Says:

    Yes have to agree “Pasha pedigree storm & Laman St Figs failing to fall” has been a topic of discussion among circles of friends who are feeling very annoyed at the ridiculous fencing blocking off Laman St. Suppose we should watchout that the Killer Fig”Lunatic Fringe” Party dont continue to try to destabilise these majestic trees in an attempt to prove their point. oh ps i had a iron bark tree fall!

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