A PLEA to put a mandatory tree on every verge in Bayswater has been deemed too tricky by council staff.
In part, that’s due to the mysterious fates suffered by trees placed outside unwilling properties.
At the Bayswater council AGM on November 7 resident Branka Radanovich, a member of the Bayswater Urban Tree Network, got strong public support for her motion “for the City to mandate (at least) one tree on every residential verge”.
The AGM’s the one time of year when citizens can directly raise a motion, that then has to be considered by councillors at a regular meeting.
But Bayswater Parks & Gardens staff have recommended councillors don’t agree to this mandatory verge tree idea.
Their advice to councillors says: “Current experiences suggest that trees have the best opportunity to thrive if they are planted on a verge where the adjoining owner is supportive of the planting”.
Unspoken is the fate that’s befallen some prominent trees outside a few of those unwilling properties, and every year there’s a scattering of poisonings or severe pruning to cut unwanted trees back to a woody twig.
The Parks & Garden staff advise it’s fine to just continue with their verge tree rollout that lets owners opt out, and that maybe, one day, it is “possible that every (or nearly every verge) will have a tree in the long term”.
Out of 14 items endorsed by public votes at the AGM, on issues ranging from banning artificial turf on verges to renaming local streets, staff only recommended three for full approval.
Councillors vote on the recommendations December 6.
by DAVID BELL
Surely we must be approaching the time when the benefits of urban tree canopy and planted verges over-ride individual preferences. Some of the benefits for example are lowering street temperatures, providing shade for humans and animals, providing food and shelter sites for birds and insects, slowing vehicle drivers. It really is time to reconsider this.