Saturday, March 24, 2018

Change your focus folks

I've said it before but I'm moved to say it again after reading some more stuff about loss of tree canopy due to infill housing in Perth.


Infill is going to happen while we're all wringing our hands.

And trees will continue to be lost.


Because the two are mutually exclusive. Infill housing and trees cannot co-exist despite what those who design buildings - but don't understand trees - will tell you. And even if you artificially manipulate things to keep the trees on the lot, they will nearly always die later anyway due to the disturbance of their roots and the change in drainage conditions around them.

The answer is to accept this and put our attention on creating a NEW CANOPY over our city, a canopy planted on PUBLIC land where it can't be got at. Essentially I'm talking about streets - although parks are pretty handy for this purpose too. But focus on streets. Shade them ALL. Asphalt roads are huge heat absorbers / reflectors. Shading them all will have a dramatic effect on our heat island problem. AND it will make the streets nice places to be (congregating, walking…you know, LIVING). Councils are of course planting thousands of trees in streets every year but a small percentage ever get to maturity due to their inadequate maintenance and watering.

While we continue to rail about trees lost to infill, the years slip by and we're missing our opportunity. Along with death and taxes, infill is a certainty. And so is the tree loss associated with it. If not immediately, then certainly down the track due to the effect of the infill. No one ever talks about this by the way. They don't really want to hear it. If a new development pops up and large trees are retained, everyone claps their hands and walks away, satisfied their job is done. It isn't. Go back in five years and check the condition of the trees. It will open your eyes.

Folks, stop wasting precious years flogging dead horses. Fight the REAL fight - and that is the transitioning of our urban forest off private property and on to public land.

You know it makes sense. 

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