Foreign trees set to take root

Peter Hancock is concerned at plans to replace native trees with imported trees. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d413570
Peter Hancock is concerned at plans to replace native trees with imported trees. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d413570

The trees will be replaced with a North American variety of red oak in special tree cells within the parking area.

The red oaks grow fast and will provide shade in summer, then drop their leaves to allow light through in winter.

But replacement of natives with imported species has concerned avid birdwatcher Peter Hancock, who regularly walks his dogs in the area.

‘These trees (red oaks) are deserts as far as our birds are concerned,’ Mr Hancock said.

‘Natives provide shelter for insects under the bark and leaves. Native birds have a larder now, all they’ll have later is a perch.’

City chief executive Stuart Cole said the carpark expansion was necessary to complement the transformation of little-used clubrooms into a much-needed multi-use community facility.

The trees earmarked for removal were planted in 2000 and include eastern states eucalypts, a WA mallee and a WA flooded gum.

Eucalypts cannot be transplanted so will be mulched and stockpiled at the council depot.

‘In regard to habitat, within urban environments, wildlife readily adapts to, and makes abundant use of, all type of tree species, irrespective of origin,’ Mr Cole said.

Mr Cole said the City only removed trees if there was no other option and in the past decade, up to 300 advanced trees were planted annuallys.

The City’s website outlines an Environmental Enhancement Policy that includes a commitment to preference the planting of native species within its parks and streetscape environments.