Cottesloe Council has taken three years to decide to plant the same species of tree

Cottesloe Council has taken three years to decide to plant the same species of tree

IT’S the leafy $405,000 decision Cottesloe Council has to make.

New trees are needed for Napoleon Street in Cottesloe, but there were warnings the chosen species could die when councillors ended a three-year debate about foliage.

“I think that’s what we are famous for in Cottesloe – that we’re looking for reasons not to do anything,” a frustrated Cr Mark Rodda said at the council last night.

Cr Rodda said deciding how to replace struggling older claret ashes in the street started with a councillor’s request three years ago.

In July, the council agreed to scrap its contract for replacements because the right size of sapling was unavailable after it had already spent $18,482 on a proposal.

A subsequent workshop in October determined the new trees should be on the south, sunnier side of the street, seats and bike racks should be moved, and more car bays allowed on the north side.

Cr Rob Thomas said using claret ashes again risked the trees failing because they were from the northern hemisphere, were stressed by summer heat and only thrived in protected gardens.

Cr Michael Tucak proposed interim measures, including growing vines across the street using the wiring for Christmas lights in a leafy canopy.

“If planter boxes or vines were used it could provide shade in the time the trees grow to maturity,” Cr Tucak said.

However, his idea was rejected by other councillors, who also voted down a suggestion from Cr Sandra Boulter.

Cr Boulter suggested pre-construction for the new trees to be conducted as early as possible so it did not impede on the 2019 planting season, and for moving more of the street furniture, which she claimed was “often in the wrong place, or around the wrong way”.

It was agreed that 17 claret ashes be planted mid-2019 on 23.5 cm root and irrigation cells, that would have new soil, on the street.

A staff report said the alternative liquid amber trees would not be ready until 2020, the would cost an extra $20,000 and required removing two of the current claret ashes.