IN LIGHT of recent Douglas Shire Council debates about coconut de-nutting vs coconut tree removal, I’d like to make a few suggestions.
1) I propose that the tree de-nutting schedule be changed from 6 months to 8 months. This will save the Douglas Shire money, as well as continue to protect the public from falling coconuts (coconuts fall at maturity, approx 9-10 months old).
At 8 months old, our business, Beach Harvest, will be able to use some of the de-nutted coconuts for our business, and will purchase ALL usable coconuts back from the Council.
2) There is urgent need to re-plant coconut palms. All of the coconut trees in highly populated tourist areas are full of shoe-spike holes from tree climbers, and this weakens the tree. If/when we have high speed cyclonic winds, these old weakened trees may not live. The public agrees our Shire is beautiful with the coconut trees – why not replant coconut trees now to ensure this beauty will continue? There are Dwarf coconut tree varieties that are cheaper to maintain and grow well in our climate.
There is also an emerging market for coconut timber for houses. With a replanting schedule, the council could replant with Dwarf variety trees, eradicate old trees and sell the timber.
3) Turn un-usable sugarcane land into coconut plantations. The coconut industry is booming and Douglas Shire landowners and farmers have a great opportunity to turn sandy farm land into coconut plantations.
Casey Willetts, owner, Beach Harvest