I received an email from a reader. I thought our exchange was worth posting...
Reader: I'm in favour of local evergreens (ie Australian natives) for street trees because they provide habitat and food source for local insects and birds.
Me: Yes, they support fauna, but streets are first and foremost for people and most Australian natives just don't tick enough boxes (see my 3-part post on selecting street trees). I love native trees - I grew up in the bush - just not as street trees in most situations.
Reader: I'm appalled that [a local Council] recently removed a mature [native tree] to put in Flame trees (Erythrina x acerifolia) that are a food source for pest Rainbow Lorikeets.
Me: I agree there was no need to remove that tree - I know the one involved. But that aside, the Flame tree (Erythrina) is too good a street tree to eliminate from the available palette because of Lorikeets. Better to eradicate the pest birds than deny ourselves a very useful street tree that performs for many, many decades with (essentially) total neglect. There aren't actually that many street trees that will do this when you really start looking into it.
Reader: It is a matter for consideration by Councillors that urban infill is removing all trees of any size from private property.
Me: I don't see the point in wringing our hands about this when there are untold opportunities in every suburb of Perth to plant tens of thousands of trees in public places - that's MILLIONS across the city. The stuff being removed from private property as a result of infill pales by comparison.