Saturday, 3 August 2013

How much money would you

spend to try and save one tree?
There is a shopping centre a little distance from us which built an extension. It built the extension around a "heritage listed" River Redgum tree. It covered the area with glass and paved the area around the tree. The gum tree was, understandably, not happy about this.
It was never going to be happy about it but the "experts" said it could be done and that the tree could be saved. The tree did not cooperate - and who could blame it. Trees need air and water and sunshine.
Of course money was spent so all sorts of things could be tried and, of course, more money was spent so other things could be tried.
I could have told them that nothing would work. You only had to stand there and look at the tree. If it had been night-time you could have heard the tree. It was dying and it knew it was dying. Trees do know - not in the way that humans or even animals know but it still "knew". It was dropping leaves and bark and smaller limbs. All its energy was going into trying to save the main trunk. Nothing worked. The death of the tree was announced yesterday.
The Senior Cat and I feel angry about this. There were $5million dollars spent on that tree - and nothing was ever going to save it. The endless fuss made because it was a "heritage listed" tree was just political and environmental correctness gone mad. The owners of the shopping centre should simply not have been allowed to build around the tree. The tree was more than one hundred years old. It was older than anyone who wanted to build a bigger shopping centre - which is largely filled with fancy clothes shops of the type most people cannot afford to walk into. 
If it was absolutely essentially to do something in the area then the planners should have been allowed to remove the tree in return for planting other trees - a lot of trees.
There is a sort of madness about "significant trees" in this state. They moved a tree from the central square of the city to the outer parklands because it was in the way of the tramline. That cost far more than it was worth too. It would have been better to spend the money planting more trees in other places even more trees in the parklands. 
Please don't misunderstand me. I love trees with a passion. I would like to see millions of them planted to replace those that have been destroyed by environmental vandals. I just don't understand this passion for trying (usually unsuccessfully) to save a single tree when the money could be spent on planting and nurturing multiple trees which will, in the end, do the environment far more good. Somewhere along the line we have, yet again, got our priorities wrong.

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