Laman Street Redesign – spinning tree species 3.4.2012

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Brush Box: obviously 'shaped' years ago but then left alone.

Newcastle city councillors will receive a briefing at 5:30pm, Tuesday 3rd April, on the Laman Street development. See you at Town Hall in the Council chamber on the second floor.

As a friend of mine said, the new design will need to be a pretty special plan because what Council removed by destroying the avenue of fig trees was divine.

Below is part of the business paper that was developed pretty quickly for councillors apparently. All the comments in bold are mine. When Council resolved to have a working party to sort the issues in Laman Street, it took officers three months to put an ad in the paper for applicants. This seems to have appeared almost overnight…

EVERGREEN OPTIONS

Queensland Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta)

9 Large evergreen coniferous tree commonly planted in botanic gardens and large parks. Height 20m and canopy width 10m. It has light coloured glossy mid green foliage. It has small fruit and is not known to shed fruit or foliage. The vault space required is 50 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 6m in height in 2013.

The best reason not to choose this is that it was the only species suggested by Phil Hewett, one of Council’s arborists, at the charrette in March 2010. If he wants it, reject it.

Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata)

10 A medium to large open canopy tree with orange bark highlighted during the shedding season. Height 15m and canopy width 10m. It produces woody capsules and annual deadwood which requires annual maintenance. The vault space required is 50 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 7m in height in 2013.

Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata)

11 A medium to large open canopy tree with silver grey mottled bark. Height 20m and canopy width 10m. It produces woody capsules and annual deadwood which requires annual maintenance. The vault space required is 50 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 7m in height in 2013.

Crows Ash (Flindersia australis)

12 A medium to large mid dense canopy tree, with mottled brown rough bark. Height 18m and canopy width 8m. It produces persistent woody capsules and minimal deadwood. The vault space required is 40 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 4m in height in 2013.

Weeping Lilly Pilly (Waterhousea floribunda)

13 A medium to large open canopy tree, with mottled brown rough bark. Height 15m and canopy width 10m. It produces low volume of persistent fruit and minimal deadwood. The vault space required is 50 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 5m in height in 2013.

I may be remembering incorrectly but this is, I think,  one of the species Council couldn’t look after in Tyrrell Street after they destroyed a dozen or more healthy figs in about 2004. They all died and we ended up with – you guessed it – tuckeroos.

Brushbox (Lophostemon confertus)

14 A robust dense canopy tree with mid green foliage and light brown to dull orange bark. Height 18m and canopy width 8m. Woody capsules and small deadwood production which requires annual maintenance. The vault space required is 40 cubic metres of soil. This species is currently available and will be approx 5m in height in 2013.

Newcastle has more brush box than it deserves. Please – no more.  Just because a tree is tough, doesn’t make it worth planting thousands of times.

DECIDUOUS OPTIONS

Liquidamber (Liquidambar styraciflua var Rotundiloba)

  1. 15  A medium domed canopy tree reaching approx 16m in height and 10m canopy width at maturity. Seasonal change with autumn colour and increased solar access in winter. This variety is reported as low fruiting and has a seasonal leaf fall. Liquidamber is one of the few deciduous trees providing reliable autumn colour in the Newcastle LGA. There are 8 of this species is currently available and ready for a 2013 planting. They will be approx 6m in height in 2013. Others may be able to be sourced.

    Remember how Newcastle ridiculed Mr Hewett’s briefing to councillors in late 2010?  The 100 year vision for Laman Street was a tree that council could source straight away. I’ll bet you twenty cents – big gambler that I am – that this one gets the nod. Amazing that the tree loppers sorry arborists at NCC haven’t suggested magnolias – they plant them everywhere.

    Home

    Double-click to enlarge


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5 Responses to “Laman Street Redesign – spinning tree species 3.4.2012”

  1. hugh Says:

    Wait a moment, don’t they have mature hills figs ready to replace the old ones with?

    So figs are not an option anymore??

  2. architectgja Says:

    NCC have a motion in effect which was put in place to remove the original trees – this motion, which also contained replacement specifics, was very aggressively defended by Council in the “remove” stage, apparently their doing anything less would be illegal, immoral and would sully the fine and stellar reputation of Council and wreak havoc on all things civil.

    However efforts appear to be getting sloppy in that regard when it comes to “replace”.

    This is the current motion they are legally bound to follow:
    “Council resolve to remove and replace, with regards to the Street Tree Masterplan, the 14 Fig Trees as soon as practical under section 88 of the Roads Act 1993 (NSW) because Council is of the opinion that the Fig Trees are likely to cause danger to traffic, property and persons in the use of Laman Street and are a traffic hazard in severe weather events.”

    Of course, we know that in order to demonstrate further the open and honest way Council relates to the Community, the “replace” portion of NCC’s motion will receive the same passionate effort to carry out as was done during tree removal…

  3. JEROME Says:

    truth honesty and integrity thedark seven have not displayed any of this. See u in the chambers. By the way there is a silent majority.And this is A FACT.

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