Tree image threatened

Twynam Street’s 90 plus year-old London Plane trees have been a talking point for visitors to the town. Established trees can lower urban temperatures by 10 degrees in summer.

The Narrandera Shire Council’s Business Centre Master Plan has been approved, but a local resident is concerned that the plan will come at the expense of Narrandera’s trees.

“I want to raise the issue that under the plan Council has plans to cut down the trees in Twynam Street,” said the resident, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Business Centre Master Plan contains a section on “street trees” (page 36) which states that the trees on Twynam Street will be “Pin Oak Quercus palustris OR Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea OR alternative Quercus species”.

“Most people I’ve spoken to don’t realise that they’ll be removed,” the resident said.

“They’re talking about replacing them with Pin Oaks. These trees are a lot smaller. Even at their full maturity they’ll never have the spreading shade.

“It’s not just the that the existing trees are beautiful. It’s the fact that they reduce daytime temperatures by ten degrees. It is absolutely critical that we have the most mature, drought resistant trees around.”

The removal and replacement of trees in the business centre relies entirely on the Master Plan being implemented in full.

Currently, the Narrandera Shire Council is anticipating the funding to implement stage one of the Master Plan on East Street and Bolton Street, which is estimated to cost approximately $4 million. Bolton Street, in particular, will be a case of new trees being planted outright, rather than replaced.

As for the rest of the plan, the overall costings are estimated to be $17 million.

Implementation of the plan will rely on the Narrandera Shire Council’s ability to secure funding to offset these costs and at present the only confirmed implementation is the part of stage one encompassing East Street and Bolton Street.

Regardless of the Master Plan’s viability, the resident would still like to see Council take a more proactive approach to its trees.

“I understand that others have tried to get a tree preservation order, but this has been ignored. They aren’t protected. If this is a town that cares for its trees, then how was this allowed to happen?

“This attitude could spread; if there’s a precedent then it could happen again.”

The resident understood some of the frustrations of having to plan a town around old trees, including problems with communications, storm water and clean-up, especially when it came to London Plane trees.

“I understand that – I have to clean up after mine. But these are the trees we have.

“Councils around the world deal with old trees. There are definitely ways around old trees. It’s a very backwards mentality, removal before preservation.

“There should be an arborist on Council staff.”

Narrandera’s wide shady streets were what attracted the resident to Narrandera and discussions with travellers passing through had also yielded praise of Narrandera’s large, shady trees.

“What kind of town doesn’t have a tree preservation order? The town of trees, and none of them are preserved,” the resident said.

5 Comments on "Tree image threatened"

  1. “What kind of town doesn’t have a tree preservation order? The town of trees, and none of them are preserved,” the resident said. I can name one…The big Fig Tree near the Fig tree Motel!

    • Yeah, and look at the state of it. Completely butchered. Nice ‘monitoring’ work from council. Not sure it’s even covered by a formal tree preservation order, just on some kind of council historic tree list that includes about 3 trees in total. None of the old street trees in town are covered by any kind of protection, which is what the article was getting at. Protection’s the first step, then the protection needs to be backed up with real care.

  2. I am concerned that the removal of the existing trees in the township would be detrimental to the town. In summer the temperature is high and the shade from the trees is very welcome.
    My family have lived in Narrandera for in excess of 150 years although many are now deceased and scattered to the city. Don’t destroy what the tourists enjoy as well as the residents. I remember how the lake and swimming pools were when growing up and now, well words cannot describe it. My advice is to leave well alone. Planting the suggested trees will not do justice.

  3. Heather family Hinchley | April 4, 2018 at 8:53 am | Reply

    As a born in Narrandera and consider it my home town i say No No No to getting rid of the trees. Thats one of the major things that make it such a great place.

  4. Having not yet read the plan in full, and hoping that the answers are in there somewhere, perhaps the question that needs to be asked is why? Once that is answered then Narrandera residents can decided whether those reasons necessitate their removal?

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