Maitland’s Memorial Trees 4.7.2011


I skimmed Newcastle City Council’s Street Tree Masterplan as it’s currently on exhibition – thanks to a friend for letting me know about it. The photo on the left is of a leopard tree, posted here because I notice these are on the list of exotics to be planted as street trees in Newcastle.

I love leopard trees – there aren’t many in Newcastle, but you can see them outside the NAB opposite Westfield shopping centre, and they line some lovely streets in the new part of Wallsend/Jesmond – but I recall reading that Brisbane City Council took them off their list of approved trees a few years ago because they thought they were a trip hazard. They can still be planted as replacements where ‘significant’ leopard trees have had to be removed. Glad to see our Council take a more relaxed approach to risk.

This relaxed approach is also evidenced by the inclusion of liquidambars among the exotics. Perhaps they’re using a non-fruiting or low-fruiting variety that doesn’t drop seeds but in California the liquidambar is known as an ‘ankle-biter’ because of injuries from slipping underneath them. It’s a shame that Councils, like everyone else, have to reinvent the wheel all the time, isn’t it?

You can download the Draft Street Tree Masterplan from this page on NCC’s website. It also gives our arborist’s address for feedback. Where are the landscape architects? Who put the arborists in charge? While I’ve met many lovely and intelligent arboriculturists, I’ve also come across some absolute shockers.

And speaking of Councils, a friend shared a very sad article from the Maitland Mercury published today. The article begins:

Angry Diggers in Morpeth have joined other townsfolk to condemn a “sneaky” move by Maitland City Council to cut down 43 bottlebrush trees that had been planted to honour war veterans.The old Diggers said they were upset and surprised by the recent secret felling of the trees along Morpeth Road.

In a two sentence statement, a council spokeswoman said the trees, which had been removed as a result of the sub-division on Morpeth Road, would be “replaced” in consultation with veterans and the RSL Club.

I cannot fathom how thoughtless and heartless some people can be – but you have to admire the fact that this Council may have learned from Newcastle and  Bacchus Marsh – when it comes to taking out trees, consider skipping the part about community consultation. Home


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One Response to “Maitland’s Memorial Trees 4.7.2011”

  1. David Horkan. Says:

    The removal of the Morpeth trees should have been included in the Development Application even if it was assessed in conjunction with the Senior’s Living SEPP that can overide Council regulations. .

    If it was not and the Council undertook the work themselves to facilitate the development Maitland ratepayers should be asking why.

    Take a look at the photos and bios of the Maitland City Councillors on their website. They explain a lot.

    David. .

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