Leafy re­verb

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - MAILBOX - Kaye Silich, Gympie

It’s sad to lose na­tive trees. Why can’t de­vel­op­ers keep some of them?

What a won­der­ful ar­ti­cle, “Day of the chain­saws” (Oct 11-12). I have lived on [in­ner-north Bris­bane’s] Wil­ston Hill for a long time. It seems to be a rite of pas­sage that “New Neigh­bours” move into the area and within a few months have a beau­ti­ful tree chopped down. Trees shade the houses, but the new neigh­bours cut them down and live in their hot boxes un­aware of what they have given up. For­tu­nately, I have a huge tree and it is the rea­son I bought my house. Neigh­bours have said it spoils their view. Well, the tree and I were there be­fore they moved in and I love the shade, birds and pri­vacy.

Mau­reen Rees-Davies, New­mar­ket I was sorry to read Matthew Con­don’s story about the re­moval of a tree in his gar­den. We live in a Townsville sub­urb where a lot of new build­ing en­tails clear­ing the land. It al­ways sad­dens me to see the mass de­struc­tion of so many na­tive trees. Why can’t the de­vel­op­ers keep some of them?

Rose­mary Henni, Deer­a­gun This ar­ti­cle brought back mem­o­ries of when we moved into a new Hous­ing Com­mis­sion es­tate with no trees. We couldn’t wait to plant some. The trees grew, and the cub­by­house in the le­mon-scented gum was well used by all the kids in our im­me­di­ate area. The poin­ciana in the front gar­den wasn’t con­sid­ered a “good” tree be­cause it branched out at many dif­fer­ent an­gles, but it was a de­light to climb and many morn­ing teas were en­joyed be­neath it. In the back yard, we have a mas­sive African tulip which has been home to pos­sums and lori­keets. I can’t imag­ine liv­ing with­out our trees.

Fay Fin­lay, Hol­land Park We loved our back deck hemmed by lots of lovely trees be­long­ing to us and our neigh­bours, who shared the pri­vacy our trees gave each prop­erty, not to men­tion beau­ti­ful shade. Un­for­tu­nately one neigh­bour had to sell. We were sorry to see them go but a lot sor­rier when the new own­ers ar­rived and cut down ev­ery tree on their block. Why? We can now see five back yards, all bare of trees. I don’t mind if they want to look at me but I don’t want to look at them.

Beryl Robey, Black­butt Matthew Con­don had to go back more than 80 years to find any­one to say any­thing favourable about the Chi­nese elm in Aus­tralia. Another idea of the 1930s thought to be great was the in­tro­duc­tion of the cane toad. Chi­nese elms are a de­clared pest for good rea­son. They de­grade na­tive veg­e­ta­tion and po­ten­tially in­hibit rather than en­cour­age na­tive an­i­mal habi­ta­tion. One tree can turn into hun­dreds if left unchecked. There are a num­ber of fast-grow­ing na­tives Con­don could have planted in its place to give him his pri­vacy back.

Joe Triscott, Dut­ton Park I live in a leafy area and can sym­pa­thise with the loss of Matthew’s tree, though I don’t think it was a par­tic­u­larly news­wor­thy event. What’s more disturbing is his per­sonal at­tack on the “New Neigh­bour”. The ar­ti­cle re­flected a sense of self-right­eous­ness which seems to per­me­ate mod­ern so­ci­ety. Law-abid­ing peo­ple have a right to go about their daily lives in pri­vacy with­out hav­ing their character as­sas­si­nated.

Dar­ryl Vaughan, Bar­don As a child of the ’60s liv­ing in the shadow of the largest steel­works in Europe, the school hol­i­days would be spent walk­ing miles each day to a park in Cardiff, South Wales. Days climb­ing in the beau­ti­ful canopies of an­cient trees gave me a re­spect and love of all species of trees and other flora and fauna. They are in­dis­pens­able, and we owe it to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to main­tain them. A grow­ing dan­ger is the ad­vent of a new coun­cil tech­nique called “view man­age­ment”. Red­land City Coun­cil is adept at what was once an ab­horred prac­tice. You can sim­ply ask them to un­der­take a bit of “view man­age­ment” to fell trees.

Bryn Maid­ment, Cleve­land Sneak across the gully and plant a jacaranda about a me­tre high. They won’t no­tice un­til it’s much taller! Most chil­dren in Queens­land will study The Lo­rax by Dr Seuss in pri­mary school, and my class is at present re­al­is­ing the im­por­tance of trees and the ef­fect they can have on the en­vi­ron­ment. I will use the ar­ti­cle this week to ex­plore a more per­sonal ap­proach to the felling of trees. Thank you so much for the ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle.

Anne Rogers, Mid­dle Park We share the Con­don fam­ily’s grief over the death of their beloved tree. We are ag­grieved as to why peo­ple move to Forest­dale and then promptly de-for­est it! We’ve been here 16 years and have wit­nessed the de­struc­tion of much habi­tat and the con­se­quent de­cline of wildlife. Tree-plant­ing projects have a gi­gan­tic flaw: trees are planted, but are left to die due to lack of wa­ter. When will more peo­ple love and re­spect trees? When there are none?

Selina Kadell, Forest­dale To see first­hand how a com­mu­nity val­ues its en­vi­ron­ment, go to Great Neck on Long Is­land, New York. The coun­cil has won­der­ful tree laws re­sult­ing in a com­mu­nity blessed with trees no mat­ter where you live. It is one of the most sought-after places in the US – that’s what trees can do.

Sally El­liot, Petrie How angry your ar­ti­cle made me! I too live in a neigh­bour­hood where ev­ery­one is madly cut­ting down all our lovely trees. I so agree with Matthew Con­don. How is this al­lowed to oc­cur? Yes, it is peo­ple’s ob­ses­sion with hav­ing “no work” – man­i­cured lit­tle plots – to the detri­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties.

Penny Sangster, Daisy Hill

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