Urban Canopy

Urban Tree Cover

I am upset, my stomach churns and my heart races. I identify with trees, and despite wonderful plans to plant more I’m seeing healthy mature trees being cut down. 

Two large gum trees have been cut down, even though they are healthy they just might loose a limb in a storm and the property owner could be sued.

People complain about the Amazon forest being destroyed but they fear their own mature trees. They drop leaves, limbs fall on cars and occasionally people. Open surfaces grow weeds, so they fill every space with concrete. Then they complain about the heat.

We need to protect the trees in our own backyard and plant more, many more, preferably native trees. Yet the local architects here in Melbourne remove all vegetation turning old fashioned homes with backyard gardens into concrete walks with fence-to-fence apartments. They prefer to plant non-native trees. 

The city of Melbourne has 63% hard surface, 22.3% bare ground with only 12.9% tree canopy. 

See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265250961_Benchmarking_Australia’s_Urban_Tree_Canopy_An_I-Tree_Assessment_Final_Report

The same report says my suburb of Banyule had in 2014 when the report was written 38.3% hard cover, 6% shrubs, 29.6% trees canopy, and 26.1% open ground. But when I walk around 

Older home with mature trees and gardens

the neighborhood, I see old houses with gardens and shrubs being replaced with apartments that cover the entire lot. Open ground in covered with concrete driveways and walkways. 

New multiple apartments with concrete where there was one home and gardens

The inner city has a wonderful plan to plant more trees.  They wrote this plan in 2014, https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/urban-forest-strategy.pdf and I have seen some trees being planted, by the city and Melbourne water. 

These are baby trees, do they really offset creation of more and more concrete lots on private land by greedy consumers.

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