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