Friday, June 10, 2016

Trees in medians (2)

The sound of all the Parks managers rolling their eyes at yesterday's post kept me awake so I thought I'd get in first this morning:

"Main Roads WA requires us to use frangible trees in medians and roundabouts."

No, MRWA suggest it. Local Governments are king of their own roads and can make their own decisions. Many local government-managed roads are low speed environments and it's not unreasonable to put large trees into them, especially now that climate change has basically thrown the rule book out. Councils just have to make a conscious decision that they're prepared to accept the risk. If you're a Parks manager, write a report asking them to agree. That's what they're there for, to make these sorts of decisions.

"Large trees will damage the asphalt."

If you choose the right trees, it's never as bad as you imagine. And even if there is some damage, accept it. Dealing with climate change is going to involve HUGE costs. This is minor in comparison.

"There's not enough soil depth to plant big trees."

Yeah there is. Even big trees have 90% of their root mass in the top 600mm of soil. And if there really isn't, create it. Again, it's important now. Like REALLY important. We have to start shading our asphalt as it's one of the main contributors to the urban heat island effect.

Shall we go on? No, I don't think so. The fact is, climate change is going to make all the other stuff look pretty silly if we don't get serious fast.

Yesterday's solutions won't solve tomorrow's problems.

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