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Program to save the city’s trees sought by councillor

Wednesday, 26th February, 2020

This nature strip in Radium Street has received some love and care thanks to a thoughtful resident who planted trees and succulents in it. PICTURE: Emily McInerney This nature strip in Radium Street has received some love and care thanks to a thoughtful resident who planted trees and succulents in it. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

A notice of motion to water more of the city’s trees has already be taken on by residents keen to preserve their nature strips.

Councillor Tm Kennedy has proposed the motion for consideration at tonight’s monthly meeting “that Broken Hill City Council implement a program to save the city’s trees from dying from drought related conditions.”

He has also requested that Council dig holes next to trees for polypipe so that the water reaches the roots instead of running off and evaporating.

General Manager James Roncon said that while at face value the idea may have merit, “the workability, Council’s capacity to undertake the works and cost associated with such a program is unknown and it would be unwise to commit to such a program with so many unknowns”.

“In discussions with Council’s Park and Gardens team, they advise (that) with an estimated 20,000-plus trees in our city, the installation for each tree would be a substantial project that our work force could not complete without impacting day to day operations,” Mr Roncon said in the report.

He said an open polypipe/cavity could also leave an open passage for disease in the roots and maintenance would be difficult with ongoing dust storms.

Mr Roncon added that the Parks and Gardens team are working to capture water and ensure it doesn’t run away from the trees.

“Instructions have been given to the water truck operators to focus on ensuring the bays around distressed trees are intact. 

“Council’s Parks and Gardens team will also look at a program during the winter of rebuilding all tree bays to a maintainable standard.”

In January Council was approached by a local who suggested that residents could help water trees in their area.

Mayor Darriea Turley welcomed the idea and encouraged everyone to help keep our trees alive.

“I realise not everyone can afford to water trees on their nature strip, but if you are able, please offer trees a little water for the good of our community.

“Even if it’s only a hose on a slow trickle for a few minutes a day, it will help make a difference.”

Landcare Broken Hill’s president, Simon Molesworth, also supported this idea. He said allowing a trickle onto the nature strip and some mulch would make all the difference.

“Put a few buckets in your shower recess, or in your bath, or put a plastic container in your hand basin and capture your washing water. Then carry your bucket of grey water out to a nearby tree and plant so as to help it live.

“It is easier to keep a tree alive than trying to start again with a newly planted tree.”

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