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Northbourne Ave trees

By Deref - 31 May 2011 12

It seems to me that the eucalypts (are they [peppermint gums?) along Northbourne Ave keep dying. Of course trees die, but there always seem to be dead and dying trees along that stretch far in excess of what I’d think of as a rate of natural attrition, particularly considering that none of them are very old.

Am I imagining it? If not, what’s the problem?

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Northbourne Ave trees
Watson 2:16 pm 01 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Watson said :

Thanks for the info!

So do you also know if the powers that be have a plan to gradually replace the bad specimens before the median strip becomes just another water-hungry lawn strip? I know they launched some tree plan with lots of fanfare last year (or was it the year before – time flies when you’re old) but I haven’t heard or seen anything since.

Once the bidirectional light rail lines and cycleway go in down the middle, the grass would be about halved. One day when I am despot… Muahahaha

🙂

Gungahlin Al 1:50 pm 01 Jun 11

Watson said :

Thanks for the info!

So do you also know if the powers that be have a plan to gradually replace the bad specimens before the median strip becomes just another water-hungry lawn strip? I know they launched some tree plan with lots of fanfare last year (or was it the year before – time flies when you’re old) but I haven’t heard or seen anything since.

Once the bidirectional light rail lines and cycleway go in down the middle, the grass would be about halved. One day when I am despot… Muahahaha

Watson 12:56 pm 01 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

As promised, expert advice on the trees:

The species is Eucalyptus elata – River Peppermint is its common name. Very few Eucalyptus are the ‘neat and tidy’ trees, but this is a part of their charm. This is a species that has high water needs, is not particularly long lived and a decade of drought has not helped. Although they were planted in the 1980s they should, as a group, still have at least 20 more years before full replacement is needed. Individuals within the group may die or not perform uniformly, but individuals can be replaced. As a group they provide the green mass planting that was intended and provide a distinctive entry to the city. A walk along the median from Dickson to City Hill is quite dramatic.

Thanks for the info!

So do you also know if the powers that be have a plan to gradually replace the bad specimens before the median strip becomes just another water-hungry lawn strip? I know they launched some tree plan with lots of fanfare last year (or was it the year before – time flies when you’re old) but I haven’t heard or seen anything since.

cleo 12:26 am 01 Jun 11

Well who wants a gum tree falling on them anyway, it’s certainly the bush capital.

GardeningGirl 6:33 pm 31 May 11

Deref said :

Gungahlin Al said :

As promised, expert advice on the trees:

The species is Eucalyptus elata – River Peppermint is its common name. Very few Eucalyptus are the ‘neat and tidy’ trees, but this is a part of their charm. This is a species that has high water needs, is not particularly long lived and a decade of drought has not helped. Although they were planted in the 1980s they should, as a group, still have at least 20 more years before full replacement is needed. Individuals within the group may die or not perform uniformly, but individuals can be replaced. As a group they provide the green mass planting that was intended and provide a distinctive entry to the city. A walk along the median from Dickson to City Hill is quite dramatic.

🙂 Thanks Al.

It seems that they’ve chosen an inappropriate variety. I love the concept and the vista they provide – it’s a gorgeous way to enter the national capital. But I’d be glad if they’d chosen a variety more long-lived and more suited to the environment.

+1

Deref 5:46 pm 31 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

As promised, expert advice on the trees:

The species is Eucalyptus elata – River Peppermint is its common name. Very few Eucalyptus are the ‘neat and tidy’ trees, but this is a part of their charm. This is a species that has high water needs, is not particularly long lived and a decade of drought has not helped. Although they were planted in the 1980s they should, as a group, still have at least 20 more years before full replacement is needed. Individuals within the group may die or not perform uniformly, but individuals can be replaced. As a group they provide the green mass planting that was intended and provide a distinctive entry to the city. A walk along the median from Dickson to City Hill is quite dramatic.

🙂 Thanks Al.

It seems that they’ve chosen an inappropriate variety. I love the concept and the vista they provide – it’s a gorgeous way to enter the national capital. But I’d be glad if they’d chosen a variety more long-lived and more suited to the environment.

Gungahlin Al 4:57 pm 31 May 11

As promised, expert advice on the trees:

The species is Eucalyptus elata – River Peppermint is its common name. Very few Eucalyptus are the ‘neat and tidy’ trees, but this is a part of their charm. This is a species that has high water needs, is not particularly long lived and a decade of drought has not helped. Although they were planted in the 1980s they should, as a group, still have at least 20 more years before full replacement is needed. Individuals within the group may die or not perform uniformly, but individuals can be replaced. As a group they provide the green mass planting that was intended and provide a distinctive entry to the city. A walk along the median from Dickson to City Hill is quite dramatic.

housebound 3:29 pm 31 May 11

I think you’ll find a lot of Canberra’s planted eucalypts have suprisingly shallow root systems. You can see it most clearly in fallen trees – there’s so little substantial that comes up wth the trees or is left behind – and I’ve done enough survey work in forests to know what to look for.

With the watering regime on Northbourne Avenue, it is very likely that the trees have a deadly combination of shallow roots and almost certainly rot/decay/infection around the root/near ground level. A lot of those trees are blue gums, and they would have to be reaching the end of their useful horticultural life here.

What is really sad is that there may not be a great chance of them being replaced in a timely way with the right trees, unless the tree section is a shining beacon of good management.

Gungahlin Al 2:33 pm 31 May 11

Keijidosha said :

I suspect that the watering regime of Northbourne would have a lot to do with the shallow root system of the trees.

May well be right, but I’ve emailed one of the panel members for some technical background.

Keijidosha 2:07 pm 31 May 11

I suspect that the watering regime of Northbourne would have a lot to do with the shallow root system of the trees.

Watson 12:53 pm 31 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

There was considerable discussion about these trees during our meetings of Maxine Cooper’s Tree Reference Panel. The horticultural experts on the panel explained that many of the trees are in very poor condition, with extremely shallow root systems and a high likelihood of toppling in adverse weather. Many can be seen to rock in the ground during even moderate winds.

So while the tree-lined avenue is recognised by all as a beautiful gateway, people shouldn’t get too hung up on those particular trees, because many are high risk one way or another.

Did they give an explanation as to why they are in such poor condition?

Gungahlin Al 12:49 pm 31 May 11

There was considerable discussion about these trees during our meetings of Maxine Cooper’s Tree Reference Panel. The horticultural experts on the panel explained that many of the trees are in very poor condition, with extremely shallow root systems and a high likelihood of toppling in adverse weather. Many can be seen to rock in the ground during even moderate winds.

So while the tree-lined avenue is recognised by all as a beautiful gateway, people shouldn’t get too hung up on those particular trees, because many are high risk one way or another.

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