Lemon gum prompts change in Belmont

Pamela Hollings stands near the towering lemon gum tree she planted 50 years ago when her daughter was born.
Pamela Hollings stands near the towering lemon gum tree she planted 50 years ago when her daughter was born.

In 1995 when Mrs Hollings’ family built a street through their subdivided property, she and the council made every effort to save the landmark tree, which now stands at about 10 metres tall.

City planner and former councillor Ray Belton planned for the street, named Lemon Gum Court, around the tree to preserve its prime location.

Over the years, the tree has dropped seeds, causing another one to pop up on the other side of the street and creating an archway over the road – a hallmark of many streets in the western suburbs.

‘We never thought about ow big it was going to get,’ Mrs Hollings said.

‘Sometimes on a hot night you can smell the lemon scented leaves.’

Recently the City of Belmont relaxed its restrictions on installing verge trees to work towards maximising tree canopy coverage in the future.

Belmont mayor Phil Marks said the City was very conscious of the tree canopy loss in the area because of housing and commercial development but recognised the need for a more considered approach to increase tree canopies in the suburbs.

‘We must work together to stem this loss and protect our environment,’ Mr Marks said.

‘Tree canopies bring shade to our footpaths and roads, reduce water run-off and create a healthier environment to live, work and play.’