Tree choice fells Mosman Park councillors

Stock image.
Stock image.

SELECTING the right tree felled some councillors and split their decision last week , when jacarandas where considered for the verges on riverside Hill Terrace in Mosman Park.

“It is the wrong street for a very big tree,” Cr Zenda Johnson said.

Designating one species for the verges was investigated after a resident’s 2016 request for the 20-house terrace which currently has a mix of flame trees, claret ashes and jacarandas.

However, the council’s street tree policy currently requires only bottlebrush and peppermints to be planted as any replacements.

“It’s obvious what they want is views in the winter and not in summer,” Mayor Brett Pollock said.

A staff report told councillors a changing climate, a lowering water table, disease and pest resistance all had to be considered when selecting a tree that could add to the town’s streetscape and green canopy.

The report said jacarandas, while susceptible to mould after humid weather, were moderately fast growing, could reach 12m and would lose their leaves in winter in Perth.

In feedback, five residents wanted jacaranda, poinciana was favoured by four, peppermint (three) and native frangipani (one).

Cr Andrew Maurice said it was not clear what people wanted from their trees, when there was the potential to create a “great canopy” in the future.

The vote was split 3-3 before Mr Pollock voted in favour of the jacarandas.

The choice for the terrace will be included in a planned revision of the Street Tree Policy, in addition to creation of a Street Tree Master Plan for the whole of the town.