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Northbourne Avenue Trees

By platypus - 25 October 2009 26

I like Canberra, however while driving around town today I was particularly struck by the depressing appearance of Northbourne Avenue.

This is the ceremonial gateway to Canberra But I find it quite unattractive.

Its not just that it’s lined with dreary flats. I think the main problem is the species of gum tree which was chosen for the area. I’m not a tree expert, but today the trees (whatever they are), looked messy, dreary and, in many cases, half dead.

Surely it would be much better if they were all removed and replaced with something more suited to the prominance of the avenue.

St Kilda road in Melbourne looks wonderful with its rows of elms and London Plane trees. Why can’t the same be done with Northbourne?

The trees on Northbourne Avenue

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26 Responses to
Northbourne Avenue Trees
enrique 9:16 am 26 Oct 09

I’ve often wondered if the reason that particular species of Eucalyptus was chosen for Northborne was something to do with it being tall and thin with relatively thin/lightweight branches?

The last thing you’d want is massive branch dropping onto a moving vehicle during a storm.

Pandy 7:10 am 26 Oct 09

Move to the bush platypus

Gungahlin Al 7:08 am 26 Oct 09

Platypus you need to venture around the town a bit more. Your blessed European trees line streets all over the place. Go lap it up.

There are a handful of key streets with natives, as befits a nation’s capital. That’s not about to change.

And I wouldn’t want it to. It’s nice in mid winter to be able to go down some streets that still have some green in them instead of depressing bare sticks.

And I wouldn’t be relying too heavily on Bryson as a landscape ecology expert.

platypus 11:38 pm 25 Oct 09

Those who have a problem with european trees in Australia should realise that if their views had been followed in the past, the beautiful Botanical gardens (with mostly exotics) in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and other parts of Australia would never have been planted. This would’ve been a shame, as these gardens are truly beautiful.

We have many miles of gum tress greowing in the bush, why the need to plant them in the middle of an urban environment where they are not suitable? Perhaps people who have a problem with a ‘European’ environment would prefer it if we pulled down all the European structures that have been built in Australia since 1788. Bill Bryson expressed it well in his book “Down Under’, when talking about Adelaide’s european style parks he said:-

“Australia has several hundred thousand square miles of landscape featuring mallee scrub and red river gums; it is not as if this is a threatened environment. Worse, the parks as they are now are unusually fine, among the best in the world, and it would be a tragedy to lose them wherever they were. If you accept the logic that they are inappropriate because they are in a European style then clearly you would have to get rid of all of Adelaide’s houses, streets, buildings and European-derived people.”

Lets have more European trees for Canberra, and banish the gum trees to the bush, where they belong.

cleo 9:31 pm 25 Oct 09

bd84
I’d rather see the goverment do the public housing complexes up, eg; put blinds in and more gardens, I’m sure they could build more public housing along Nortbourne, as there is enough room, there are so many homeless people.

Morgan 5:34 pm 25 Oct 09

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes
of ordered woods and gardens
is running in your veins
strong love of grey blue distance
brown seas and soft dim skies
I know, but cannot share it my love is otherwise…

bd84 4:36 pm 25 Oct 09

I’d rather they demolish the eyesores of the public housing complexes along Northbourne. They can worry about the trees when they pose a danger.

old canberran 4:26 pm 25 Oct 09

The median strip is there for possible future light rail or additional road carriageways. If they had planted exotic trees there would be the usual outcry when they are removed. The gums look a bit sad at the moment from lack of rain and an overdose of car exhaust fumes.
At least they are not deciduous which means they look the same all year round.

Rad Dave 4:06 pm 25 Oct 09

Isn’t there a proposal by NCA to replace a lot of the old tress in Canberra? Most are heading towards 100 years old and nearing the end of their life..

NickD 12:58 pm 25 Oct 09

As the other posters have said, it would be a bit odd to plant non-native trees in the main street of Australia’s capital. To the limited extent I care about plants, I actually think that they look nice.

Gungahlin Al 12:28 pm 25 Oct 09

joy18 said :

St Kilda road in Melbourne looks wonderful with its rows of elms and London Plane trees. Why can’t the same be done with Northbourne?

Because we live in Australia, not England! Australian trees are not neat and tidy, but that does not mean that they are not beautiful.

You can make your own garden a little England if you want, but leave the Northbourne Avenue eucalypts alone.

+1

astrojax 11:38 am 25 Oct 09

what joy18 said!

hax 11:15 am 25 Oct 09

I agree they’re particularly ugly and untidy in appearance.

Surely there’s other (Australian) trees which would look nicer?

joy18 10:15 am 25 Oct 09

St Kilda road in Melbourne looks wonderful with its rows of elms and London Plane trees. Why can’t the same be done with Northbourne?

Because we live in Australia, not England! Australian trees are not neat and tidy, but that does not mean that they are not beautiful.

You can make your own garden a little England if you want, but leave the Northbourne Avenue eucalypts alone.

Pandy 10:08 am 25 Oct 09

Australian capital deserves showcasing Australian trees.

However, build light rail down the strip and half the trees would have to be removed anyway and your problem is solved.

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