Thursday, December 17, 2015

Compare the pair (4)

Caladenia Parade, Mt Claremont. This subdivision (St Peter's Square) went in years ago but look how hot and treeless it still is. That's because even though there has never been overhead power lines, Ornamental Pear (Pyrus sp.) and Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) have been used as the street trees (!)  They've done nothing and they're not going to do anything.

Caladenia Pde, Mt Claremont (click to enlarge)

The picture below is Mereview Way, Subiaco. It's in the Subi Centro subdivision that went in at around the same time as the one above. Hard to believe, isn't it? The difference is that London Plane and Jacaranda were used here. Getting the street trees right is pretty important, huh?

Mereview Way, Subiaco (click to enlarge)


  1. Grayden,

    I agree! I'm a resident on the hot, tiny-tree street. I've been struggling to get the ornamental pears to look like anything more than a shrub on a stick. I realise the breed of tree is not very large. When I approached the City of Nedlands about interspersing a larger canopy tree, like a Jacaranda, I was informed that the underground power runs along my verge and the tree was too invasive to be planted near the power.

    And our Magnolia trees seem to be the ornamental breed too. Anyway, the Magnolia leaves show sun stress quickly and the wind-pruning effects this large leave tree more than the smaller leaf trees.

    1. HI Shauna

      As an ex-Manager Parks and Gardens myself I'm a bit surprised at the City of Nedlands' response to your suggestion about interplanting with bigger trees. I certainly wouldn't have had a problem with that. Underground power should not be unduly affected by something as benign as Jacaranda. I suggest you get together with your neighbours and present a petition to the Council asking for something bigger to be planted.

      Jacaranda is OK but will probably also not be great where you are. They're really better in heavier, less alkaline soils like the Hills. I would probably look at something like Claret Ash or Chinese Elm - medium sized, deciduous trees, very tough and neither should cause problems with underground infrastructure. (To be honest I'd go even bigger but these would still be a vast improvement on what you have now.)

      And you're spot on about Magnolia. They're always going to burn in full sun/wind exposure in Perth. Totally inappropriate to use as a street tree. Better in a semi-shaded, protected position in the garden.

      Finally, love your description of the Ornamental Pear looking like a shrub on a stick! Sums it up perfectly.

      Keep us posted how you go with the Council. I know the Parks manager there. If you present something as a group (petition) I'm sure he'll work with you. Let him know I said he's a good sort ;)

      Thanks for taking the time to share your story.