While it is mainly Metro Trains who spray along the trainline, Moreland City Council also uses spray around the bike path. Sometimes this spray kills newly planted trees and vegetables. Sometimes it just leaves a dead patch of ground... have your say on Moreland City Council's herbicide and pesticide plan:
So we've discovered one of the problems....Metro employs people with whipper-snippers to cut down the vegetation.....as part of their "Clearance Plan".
This year (2016) they cut down 10 small trees between Munro and Reynard Sts.
In Northcote in 2015 it appears they cut down a whole vegetable garden plot at the Merri Train Station. The Leader Newspaper reports that over 30 people were involved in planting and were devastated by the loss. Furthermore, Metro Trains apologised and offered to pay for re-planting.
Metro's Pauline O'Connor was reported to say:
“Stationeers groups play an important role at many of our stations and we support the great work they do to beautify our stations and improve the community amenity,”
The people with whipper-snippers have said things like, "Personally, I like the trees, but we have to keep trees more than 3 metres from the tracks." And "we are doing this to prevent a fire hazard." Others have said, "If the trees/plants are obviously being looked after, we leave them alone."
From the Clearance Plan, the issue seems to be keeping tree branches from the high voltage power lines.
So...if this is the case one would think that...low vegetation within 3 metres (herbs/vegetables), and trees from three metres should be ok.
This is not what happened at Merri Station though....and the trees between Reynard and Munro sts were further out than 3 metres... So what is going on?
I'll get in contact with Metro Trains...follow up on the Northcote story..... and report back.
The survival chances of an urban guerilla tree are poor. The main threats are lawn-mowers, removal by non-tree enthusiasts, removal and replacement with something smaller by council (Council love those low growing grivilleas...nice flowers.... but zero shade qualities). Trees get hacked, pulled out and discarded by baked and concrete jungle enthusiasts, sawn off at the trunk, ring-barked. Sometimes they are poisoned and very occasionally they die of drought.
The main cause of death is human intervention.
If we are to survive on a rapidly heating planet...we need a different approach to trees and growing food and vegetation in the city.
On a practical note the areas of the Upfield Urban forest that are doing best are those covered in tree-growth and vegetation and where flowers outgrow the weeds. It looks like working intensively on small pockets has the highest chances of success. Well done foresters. Please get involved...everyone!
Have you got ideas and thoughts that you want to share? Please feel free to write them here!