Saturday, February 27, 2016

Coffee with the Mayor

I told the Mayor of my Council that I had some serious concerns about the Town's street tree establishment program and she has kindly agreed to meet with me this week to discuss it.

I'll be covering five things with her:

1. Small trees are being used where big ones could go. 

This wastes valuable opportunities to create canopy.

It's also an inefficient use of Council resources because it costs the same to plant and maintain a large species as a small one.

2. Trees are being spaced one-per-property instead of according to the width of their canopies.

This results in weak streetscapes as I talk about here.

3. Poor quality nursery stock is resulting in poor trees.

The Town is buying excessively leggy stock resulting in trees with poor form.

I also talk about this here and here.

4. Whippersnipping of trees is undermining the work done by Council to establish them.

I talk more about this here and here.

5. Mature trees are being lost for lack of a Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) around them during house construction. 

And when a TPZ is created, it is often inadequate and the tree dies anyway.

I talk more about this here.

So, what to do?

I'll be suggesting five things:

  • Review the Town's Street Tree Masterplan and upgrade the small species to bigger ones.
  • Start spacing trees according to canopy width, not property frontage.
  • Set up grower contracts with some good tree nurseries to ensure better quality stock.
  • Review the Town's TPZ spec to ensure it adequately protects trees during house construction.

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