Two more neighbourhood trees fall

When I got home last night I was in a  hurry.  It was a little while later that I saw what had happened.  One tree had vanished from the neighbourhood skyline completely.  Where previously there was a huge lemon-scented gum, now there is this.

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The other tree has been severely lopped.  It is the kind of lopping that takes place when no care needs to be taken.  The kind of lopping that means this tree will not be there when I get home from work today. This one, too, we believed had been saved from being felled by a government department.  Now it is to be felled by the property owner.

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This morning I came home from my run and there were many native birds flying through it and calling.  Tonight I expect there will be total silence and an uninterrupted view of the sky where once it stood.  Every single tree on that block will have been felled.  These were the two largest trees in the street where they stood.

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Speechless and sad.

23 Comments

Filed under Eucalypts

23 responses to “Two more neighbourhood trees fall

  1. SubmarineBells

    *hug* That sucks. So sorry to hear it.

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  2. Deb

    Why are all the trees being cut down? It seems mindless.

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    • They are really large trees, close to buildings. I was looking at other E Citriodoras today–that have been standing for at least 20 years to my knowledge and are quite a bit smaller. So these must be much older. I am assuming the owner has made the case to Council that they are damaging the foundations of the buildings on this block. But the short answer is that I don’t know. Even if there is a reason–the trees are still a huge loss and will never be replaced with trees that size in my lifetime, if ever.

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      • Deb

        Such a shame. Of course I’m the crazy person that paid a ton of money to simply move a big tree from our front yard to our backyard.

        The trees you show remind me so much of the arbutus in BC, Canada. Luckily they are considered protected there.

        It’s awful how some see trees as enemies or inconveniences, and can’t see the benefits.

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      • Agreed. I am guessing that doesn’t surprise anyone!

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  3. It is always sad to lose a tree, but sometimes it seems necessary and wise. We lost 7 very large trees in our yard during a hurricane a few years ago, including an old, loved walnut tree that gave us shade. During the storm, my husband hollered over the wind to me, “We’re going to lose the walnut tree!” I wouldn’t believe it. She had stood hardy and strong for over 45 years as we had family picnics beneath her arms. It was heartbreaking to watch her roots undulate beneath the surface of the ground as the wind wreaked havoc through her branches. She finally toppled, her roots lifting the nearby deck which was attached to our house. We were blessed that all the trees that fell that night fell away from our house and not on it. Three giant cedar trees in our front yard fell down crossing our driveway, taking out the fence, and crossing the neighbor’s driveway. One neighbor wasn’t so fortunate. They had no less than 13 large hemlock trees fall directly on their house during that storm, doing untold damage to their home. This week we made a decision to do some major lopping on a loved cherry tree that has stood in our back yard for almost 50 years. Should we take her down? We didn’t want to do it. Two of the major branches had started to separate from the rest of the tree and were in danger of coming down in the next storm. It was necessary to remove them safely, rather than have them hurt someone. We have painted the wound and hope to save the rest of the tree. I have a list of 5 new trees I hope to plant in the yard this spring, one a eucalyptus that I can dye with!

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    • Thanks for sharing your story, Pallas. I am so glad you stayed safe! And I hope your neighbours came through even though their house did not. I do agree that sometimes it is necessary to lose a tree. And sometimes the wind or borers make the decision without human intervention!

      We moved into a new house about 3 years ago, and for almost half that time there has been a major infrastructure project right outside the front door. We have lost neighbours, compelled to move out. Their houses have been demolished. Trees have been felled in large numbers all across the neighbourhood and others have been brutally pruned. The local community managed to save some. After all that, to lose three really substantial old trees has been additional heartbreak for us. The people who lived here before us had one large tree in the whole place, and borers killed it–it never returned after our first autumn here. We have planted at least 10 trees (including dye eucalypts, of course). But they will take many years to grow.

      In the coming autumn new trees will be planted across our suburb to replace the hundreds lost, but they will still be slender in ten years from now compared to the trees of 60 and 80 years’ standing that have come down. All of which is only to explain my feelings on the subject. It does not change the realities of wind and borer and fire that are also part of our relationships with trees. Nor the stories of concrete and foundations, electricity and infrastructure, and the debates that come with them about what is necessary and wise.

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  4. After the recent storm in Adelaide there was almost a witch hunt against trees led by the local ABC talkback station. Corymbia citriodora is known as the gum least likely to drop limbs. All over Adelaide trees are being chopped in a hysterical response to a bit of wind. Meanwhile across the nation trees are decimated by fires and clear felled by the makers of toilet paper etc. the continued removal of trees affects the climate, of that there is no doubt. Trees attract/generate rain, a fact proven by the former Airborne Research team at Flinders University (led by my father) who demonstrated clearly the difference in precipitation in WA’s wheat belt either side of the rabbit fence. Want to live in a hot dusty plain? Cut down all the trees. The houses might not crack, but we humans will.

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    • Thanks, India. I think there is no doubt that some tree clearing is irrational. And some probably makes sense. But the net loss of trees is undeniably a major issue, and it’s especially visible right around me just now–even though many more trees are being lost in other places.

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    • This happened several years ago where I live. Municipalities in damaged areas were promising residents that they would cut down the trees lining the streets to protect from future damage. Very reactionary, very short-sighted.

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  5. Heartbreaking, I’m so sorry! In my neighborhood the 75-150 year old oaks are coming down, more and more holes to the sky. People wanting to enlarge the little bungalows in the ‘hood, or tree illness and/or damage from mistreatment by the property owners. My neighbor has 3 massive oaks that shade our houses and but does nothing for them which pains me. The previous owners of my house planted a river birch which was my height when I moved in almost 15 yrs ago. It’s now a beautiful huge tree (and takes care of the rain/floods that used to happen at the back of my little yard). People just don’t understand the connection between the trees and their well-being.

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    • Thanks so much. The density of human habitation is, as ever, a big part of all that goes on in relation to the destruction of habitat of every kind. It’s a glory to see a tree grow, and terribly sad to see others treated badly. So glad your river birch is giving you pleasure as well as using the water that used to be a problem for you.

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  6. The yellow trunk and green leaves of the lemon scented gum against the blue sky looks amazing in your photo, I am sure it was better in real life. So sad.

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    • They are glorious trees–the trunks change colour throughout the year and the canopy is amazing. When in flower, there is one all day long party from sunrise for lorikeets and rosellas and honeyeaters. I’ve been collecting their leaves for mulch for years–makes the chook shed smell great and repels bugs. And the way the trunk wrinkles up to accommodate boughs as they branch out is especially intriguing and wonderful. Thanks Yvette.

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  7. I agree with everyone who has written here. And I cannot imagine how it must feel to have construction going on around you constantly. I almost cry when a new development of homes goes in and they remove every standing tree for ease in moving equipment in and out, I suspect. In many of the new neighborhoods they do plant all new trees along the new streets, which is wonderful, but those new trees simply can’t take the place of the majestic giants that preceded them. I have often remarked that I wish the developers would plan their neighborhoods around the native trees.

    Even more sad is how the bark beetle is decimating the forests in Idaho and other western states here in the USA. My husband and I travel to the Sawtooth Mtns. of Idaho each year, a range in the Rockies, and well over half the trees are now standing dead from the bark beetle. Those dead trees make for very dry tinder. Some states try to remove the dead trees, but can’t seem to keep up with the beetle, or run out of funds. Forest fires were raging the last time we were there, and while the fires do get rid of the beetle, we lose the healthy trees as well!

    There must be a solution…there just must be. I believe India has the right idea when she suggests in her books that we live simpler lives and use things that are local to us (I hope I am not misinterpreting you, India!). That may seem insignificant to some, but it is a beginning…and if we all did it…well, just imagine.

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    • Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness Pallas. I agree there are things that we can do. There have been generations of effort to retain native forest in our country as well as yours–and I think we are about to face a big new wave of necessity for such action.

      It has been heartbreaking to listen to people who really hate trees in my neighbourhood, as well as standing with a community of people who love trees and have done all we can to compel the construction around here to be managed so that it will take out as few trees as possible. Many of us were there to plant trees in a local park over ten years ago, which were felled as part of the recent drama. So we’re all too conscious of how long they took to get to the size at which they were felled, and how many were lost to rain and insect life in that decade. We need this knowledge even if it makes it all the sadder to see them go.

      I feel for you watching whole forests die. We have diseases having this kind of impact here too. It is hard to watch.

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