Posts Tagged ‘forest elder’

Selfish greed kills Faulconbridge Tree

Friday, March 9th, 2012
The tree is gone.  The developers have got their way.
18th January 2012
^http://savethetree.org/

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The Faulconbridge Tree
– stood before humans, killed by them
(Photo by Editor 20111226, free in public domain, click photo to enlarge, then click again to enlarge again)

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They May Rail at this Life

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They may rail at this life — from the hour I began it
I found it a life full of kindness and bliss;
And, until they can show me some happier planet,
More social and bright, I’ll content me with this.
As long as the world has such lips and such eyes
As before me this moment enraptured I see,
They may say what they will of their orbs in the skies,
But this earth is the planet for you, love, and me.

In Mercury’s star, where each moment can bring them
New sunshine and wit from the fountain on high,
Though the nymphs may have livelier poets to sing them,
They’ve none, even there, more enamour’d than I.
And, as long as this harp can be waken’d to love,
And that eye its divine inspiration shall be,
They may talk as they will of their Edens above,
But this earth is the planet for you, love, and me.

In that star of the west, by whose shadowy splendour,
At twilight so often we’ve roam’d through the dew,
There are maidens, perhaps, who have bosoms as tender,
And look, in their twilights, as lovely as you.
But though they were even more bright than the queen
Of that Isle they inhabit in heaven’s blue sea,
As I never those fair young celestials have seen,
Why — this earth is the planet for you, love, and me.

As for those chilly orbs on the verge of creation,
Where sunshine and smiles must be equally rare,
Did they want a supply of cold hearts for that station,
Heaven knows we have plenty on earth we could spare,
Oh! think what a world we should have of it here,
If the haters of peace, of affection and glee,
Were to fly up to Saturn’s comfortless sphere,
And leave earth to such spirits as you, love, and me.

~ Thomas Moore

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A brief history on the fight to save the forest elder

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August 1985

This native Scribbly Gum tree was listed on the Blue Mountains Council’s Register of Significant Trees.
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2010

A Development Application for two dwellings was submitted to council.  This development would require the removal of the “Significant Tree”
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2010

Numerous residents submitted objections to the Development Application

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June 2011

Consent to develop refused by Blue Mountains City Council (unanimous)
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The owners appealed against the decision.
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September 2011

The case was heard by The Land & Environment Court. Specialists gave conflicting reports on the health and viability of the tree. [Ed: The tree is labelled by the NSW Land and Environment Court as “The Hybrid” – a form of half caste tree]. In the interim findings, the Acting Senior Commissioner agreed that the tree could be removed.  A final ruling on the case will be made after the applicants have submitted a complying landscape plan.

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October 2011 onwards

Local residents decided to attempt to save the tree.  We are not against development of the site. However we feel that the current proposal is an overdevelopment of the site. Ideally we would like to reach a compromise where the tree can be retained.

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January 2012

The tree is killed.  [Ed: What is the bet the developers have the two dwellings up for sale in a year’s time, confirming it was all about land grab profiteering from the bush?]

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[Source: ^http://savethetree.org/savetree/History.html]

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The tree’s fate determined by ‘Darkside Ecologists’

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The Court Case:   ‘Barrett and ors v Blue Mountains City Council‘  (Decided 13 October 2011)

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The Hybrid‘ – findings:

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Paragraph 20:

“..Dr Daniel McDonald, an ecologist and Mr Frederick Janes, an arborist provided evidence for the applicant.”

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Paragraph 42:

” The 2008 (Picus Sonic Tomograph) test that there was a considerable percentage of internal decay and recommended that the tree be removed if the site was to be developed.  The 2010 test concluded that there is very little sound wood remaining in the base of the tree due to the large percentage of decay in the lower truck area.  Also, it was noted that (the) tree has many defects from decay to the base in at least two of the three main trunk of the tree; one which is being supported by an adjoining tree. 
 
The report also described the tree as being mature to over mature and requiring susbstantial remedial care and only being suitable for retention in teh short term.  the recommendation of the 2010 report was the tree be removed (Ed: ‘killed’) and replaced with another long living Eucalypt species.”

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Council’s representative ecologist, arborist and landscape designer, Ms Susan Hobley, did not concur with the findings of both Tomograph tests.

Paragraph 45:

“In her opinion (Ms Hobley), the tree is a healthy, mature specimen of very large dimensions.  It has a full crown with no signs of major dieback.  Its structural condition is considered good for such a large old tree, and in the context of this site; it still has primary lateral branches and the branch losses that have occurred, in terms of  secondary and tertiary branches; are typical of the attrition that occurs dues to intra-canopy competition associated with tree growth and development. 

Its major branch unions appear healthy and structurally sound.  While one branch is interacting with a nearby tree, the situation needs to be monitored but the failure zone for this branch is the low use landscape zone of the nature strip.

Ms Hobley states that old trees of this genus typically contain large cavities and this does not mean they are likely to fall over and die in the near future.  Ms Hobley is also of the opinion that it may be possible for a dwelling to be constructed outside the area of the canopy or even under the canopy, subject to specific engineering requirements to protect the root system and monitoring of the condition of the Hybrid.”

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>Read the judgment

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Post-Mortum Evidence

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Based on the decision of the Acting Senior Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court, G. T. Brown, the tree was condemned and consequently killed on 18th January 2012.

The following photo below of the trunk of the tree shows that less than 10% decay had occurred in the tree.  The tree otherwise shows no signed of decay and is healthy and could have lived for many more decades.  This contradicts the ecologist Dr Daniel McDonald’s view that the tree had ” considerable percentage of internal decay”.

Chainsaw Post Mortum
Normal internal decay but less than 10%, meaning the tree was in fact healthy and had many years of growth left in it

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Ed:  The defending ecologist, Ms Hobley was right.  This Scribbly Gum was indeed healthy and structurally sound.  Small internal cavities as detected by the tomograph, are completely normal characteristic of this genus.  The tree need not have been killed.

The opinion by the developer’s ecologist and arborist were wrong, exaggerated and clearly biased in favour of the wishes of the developer to kill the tree in order that the developer may present a case for safety to the Court and so build the two dwellings they want.   This case is a classic recurring example of darkside ecologists, whose prefession one would assume is to respect and conserve ecology, instead being used for the dark destructive cause of development. 

There more money to be made from Darkside Ecology, since developers have the money to develop and so paying biased ecologists and arborists to condemn trees as unsafe, decayed and diseased is such a minor cost in the overall cost of the development.   ‘Darkside ecologists‘ typically also dismiss the value of rare and treatened native vegetation situated on a bushland site, justifying the presence of other rare and threatened examples of that same vegetation nearby.  Such a dismissive attitude fails to respect the cumulative impacts of destruction one site at a time, one tree at a time.

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Farewell, for we did our best to save you

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