I received an email from a reader asking whether I thought her council should use Flame trees (Erythrina x sykesii) given that "they can drop limbs".
Here's my reply:
I talk about these issues in this post:
Short answer: yes they can drop limbs. However, when they do it is usually a "slow peel" from a relatively low height - ie the butt end of the limb usually stays attached to the trunk. This is very different to large gums which can snap clean and fall from a great height.
Should your council be using Flame trees (Erythrina x sykesii)? Absolutely they should! They have far too much going for them to knock out due to the limb-splitting issue. They're a large, leafy tree that will literally grow ANYWHERE - even in the coastal suburbs.
As I've also said, with the urgency of climate change now upon us, we need to stop being so precious about the negative quirks of some species and get on with putting large-leafed canopy over our city. Flame trees will do just that. And live for a long time too - something we overlook too often when we choose some native trees for example that last 20 years and die (!)