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I received an email from a reader who suggested we should plant less-than-ideal species * if necessary so that "at least people continue to expect trees in streets".
It's an interesting comment and one I had been mulling over after a recent visit to one of the newer parts of Perth (pictured) where "tree-less" is now apparently the norm.
The reader is right: if we're not careful, we'll lose the hearts and minds.
I hope we haven't already because it will be a long way back.
* By "less than ideal" he meant smaller than we might otherwise want to use but have no choice due to the increasingly constrained available space. I agree. Kind of. Because to be honest, I'm more inclined to just put largish trees in regardless. My experience has been that we often worry unnecessarily about big trees in tight spaces. Much of the time they don't cause the hellish problems we envisage and in fact turn out to be perfectly fine. In other words, we're constantly basing our thinking on the exception rather than the rule. And that sort of conservatism probably isn't going to cut it any more in the new green economy.