Following major concerns from our community Precincts, and in particular Little Manly and North Harbour, Manly Council has now undertaken to focus on our street trees by commissioning a Street Tree Inventory of the entire Manly local area; and the development of a Street Tree Policy.
This $70,000 project is now underway.
One of the first steps is to take an inventory of what we have - how many street trees there are, what they are, which ones are significant and which ones are missing. This is a big task and the council is now asking for help from local precincts to document our tree scape. Once the information is in, it will inform council policy on managing trees in our area.
Following recent concerns about the way that Ausgrid butchers our trees, at a recent council meeting Good For Manly councillor Candy Bingham asked the council to take the issue up a level and push for greater rights for all NSW councils over street tree management and the current practices of Ausgrid. This matter will be raised with Local Government NSW and with the Minister of Local Government.
Have you had trouble with Ausgrid lopping trees in your street? Let us know here.
Manly’s Ocean Beach is often symbolised as a great curving beach backed by the magnificent stand of Norfolk Island Pines planted from 1860 to 1900.
Over the years these were damaged by the sewer outfall with the worst effect at the northern end of the beach. Unfortunately the replacements in the 1970’s and 1980’s were not quality controlled and Cook Island Pines or hybrids were often planted.
Cook Island Pines (Araucaria columnaris) can be easily recognised as they are smaller, denser and often crooked. When they are mixed with the larger, less dense and straight Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) they spoil the overall effect as well as reducing the visibility through the trees to the water.
Council commissioned a ’Management and Conservation Plan for the coastal Norfolk Island Pines‘, updated in 2009, which recommended the removal of all Cook Island Pines and related hybrids and replacing them with the original Norfolk Island Pines.
At the southern end of the Steyne, between the surf club and the Corso there are 13 Cook Island Pines out of the total of 76 pines. There are some very healthy bushy and dense ones near the Corso which tend to spoil the ocean views from the various restaurants there. Near the Surf Club the Cook Island Pines are crooked and take away from the effect of the mature Norfolk Island trees. You will also see, when you look at their tops carefully that several of the Norfolk Island Pines at this end of the beach are dying.
At the other, northern end of the beach near the Queenscliff Surf Club there are many more Cook Island Pines and the effect of taller more open Norfolk Island Pines has been lost.
A properly planned replacement program should be a priority as well as replacing all of the older Norfolk Island Pines that are dying or thriving, such as those by the tables on the beachfront by the Corso.
Have you noticed the difference in the pines? What do you think Council should do about this?
(Our thanks to Evelyn Shervington who provided this information)
Street after street in Manly have examples of 'Ausgrid Vandalism'. The relentless butchering of our trees by Augrid sub-contractors continues to be serious issue resulting in major damage to a number of heritage trees. The systematic need to remove established trees which have become unstable or unhealthy due to inappropriate, and continual, cutting of significant branches has become unacceptable.
For example, Ausgrid are about to remove four smallish trees on Seaview Street between Upper Beach and New Streets. The reason I understand is that they do not want the continual expense of pruning them.
While aerial bundling is not the best solution, it would bring about a significant improvement. Under this method cables are bundled and insulated which means that contact with branches is much less of a problem and trees do not need to be as radically pruned. Currently the wires, apart from the Optus cables, are not insulated. Of course the best solution would be to underground the cables, but reality dictates that this is highly unlikely due to the enormous expense.
A good example of bundling can be seen on Bourke St in Surry Hills. Some bundling has also occurred on Addison Road, Manly.
Due to recent concerns raised by a number of Precinct Forum groups and local residents in the Manly area, a resolution was passed at the June 2013 Council meeting which included that steps be taken to halt the Ausgrid practices; that Manly Council develop a Tree Policy for the area, and that the possibility of aerial bundling be investigated. North Harbour & Little Manly Precinct groups in particular have been actively fighting this issue on behalf of local residents.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.