Missing the Action 28.3.2012

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Not the subject of the post: This ex-row of beautiful Hill's figs is in Mayfield - do you think there was an arborist report saying they were going to fall down?

Cr Boob  Cook must be missing the last two years of frenzied emailing and media releasing and being counter-productive at attending Working Party meetings – because he’s sent me a late-night fig email.

I know the fig in question has been noticed by friends but I don’t know the tree myself. The email is loaded with irony. I’m guessing there’s no altruistic motive behind Bob sending the email on. What do you think? All italics, emphasis and comments in red are mine. Obviously.

Dear

The Port Jackson Fig was inspected recently by Council’s Arborist.  This tree is a very large and visually prominent tree and is estimated to be at least 80 years old and likely to be part of the earliest plantings in the heritage listed park.

The nature of the recent branch failures suggest that the failures did not result from excessive wind loading.  The failed branches that were inspected appeared free of decay or other defects and as there were no witnesses to the failure, no firm conclusions can be drawn as to the causation.  The tree has been found to be in a healthy state.

However from previous inspections from independent arborists it was found that the tree’s growing environment is insufficient to meet the resource needs of such a large arboreal structureOtherwise known as a tree.This is the result of the historical use of part of the area beneath the tree’s southern side for parking and hardstand.  The tree has been subjected over a number of decades to a range of road widening and construction works on the northern side and to parking encroachment to within 3 metres of the stem on the southern side.  These activities have resulted in soil compaction, root death and energy depletion.  The tree’s growing environment can be improved by extension and physical improvement of its root zone. Couldn’t do that in Laman Street.

The following recommendations have been put forward and will be implemented.

1.      Prune all large diameter dead wood and branch tears from previous failures to conform to Australian Standards. This work is a priority.

2.      Remove the near-dead Oak tree in the centre of the parking area in order to free up vehicle space.

3.      Retain existing temporary fencing as currently located inside the park. Relocate the external fencing on the Cowper Street side in to the Park boundary to prevent access from the footway. Reinstate pedestrian access along Cowper Street footway.

4.      In consultation with Council’s Infrastructure Management Services, design a permanent vehicle exclusion barrier to the extremity of the crown projection within the car park. Remove the temporary fencing when installing new barrier. Avoid seating and other people attractants inside fenced area.

5.      In consultation with Council’s Infrastructure Management Services lift the road-base and gravel material from inside the exclusion area, remove all grass and weeds from the base of the tree and mulch the entire area beneath the crown with the exception of the grassed footway area to Cowper Street. Maybe they need to talk to the Council arborist who claimed that road-base was holding up the Laman Street trees. And remember the Working Party that suggested doing these sorts of things in LS?

As outlined above, this tree has an extremely high amenity valueInsert hysterical laughter and eye-rolling here. It is understood that some car parking area may be reduced from the current area but it is also envisaged that the removal of the Oak tree will provide some corresponding carspaces.


Manager Parks & Recreation Services
The City of Newcastle

And on a lighter note,  in the links on the home page, NCC’s Laman St ‘amended’ radar report on this has been looked at 33 000 times, the original radar report 22 000 times, and the ‘underwhelming storm damage of Laman St over 30 000 times.

I heard a rumour that the arboricultural course at Ryde is using Laman Street as an example of  trees with inadequate roots. Hope it’s untrue. Those poor students – are they wasting their money?

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