Monday, January 15, 2018

Pack 'em in

What does a bloke do when he's jaded from looking at poor tree plantings around town?

He buys a shiny new motorcycle.

And forms a blues band.

True story.

But he also concentrates on where he CAN make a difference: his own backyard.


I just planted five beautiful Poinciana trees* into my back lawn.

That's five trees at 4m spacings.

Yes, four metres.

Why not? They will grow into a living pergola which will shade my lawn in summer (it's Kikuyu, it will still grow under there) and, being semi-deciduous, will still allow the grass to grow in winter. Everyone's a winner!

Including David's Garden Centre in High Wycombe where I bought them. If you're a Perth local, check him out. Best nursery in town in my opinion. Always got the stuff I want. Always great quality (he's been doing it for 35 years), always good prices.

Just don't start talking to him about restoring old GT Falcons and GTS Monaros. Unless you're interested of course like me ;)

* When I was ringing around to source the trees, I rang a major supplier (who shall remain nameless other than to say their name starts with "B" and ends with "A" and has "enar" in the middle) and was told very confidently by the person on the other end that "they're not really suitable for Perth". WRONG! They are perfectly suitable for Perth. The Hills too, although admittedly frosts will knock 'em around a bit up there when they're young. There are so many experts when it comes to trees. Sadly, "experts" who have often listened to a lot of hearsay but haven't actually served time in the trenches where the real lessons are learned.


  1. Love it, love it!
    There is a stunning poinciana by the footbridge over the freeway in Como.
    Since being back in Perth and banging around East Perth and Victoria Park and South Perth/Como areas I have noticed huge numbers of new tree plantings. Lots have grass overgrowing right up to their trunks... I'm guessing that's a bad sign. I'm wondering how many will survive.

  2. Hi Emma

    Your guess is right: it is indeed a bad sign….on numerous fronts.

    Firstly, the grass competes with the trees and the grass always wins. The trees remain stunted, starved of water and nutrients.

    But wait, there's more. Mr Whippersnipper Man comes along to clear the grass around the trunk and ring barks the tree…you know, just to make sure the tree dies in case the grass isn't up to it.

    You say "I wonder how many will survive?"

    Perth's leading tree expert (a REAL expert, not a self-styled one) recently estimated that around 80% (I think that was his number, it was right up there anyway) of council planted trees would NEVER REACH MATURITY.

    Frightening, huh? No. Apparently not. Councils aren't that concerned as your experience south of the river shows.

    PS…. good to have you back :)

  3. Maybe I will write an annoying letter to South Perth council

    1. I think you should. Then it's not just me harping on! Your email signature details might just encourage them to take the matter a bit more seriously too. I know it would if I was in the Parks manager's chair ;)