Sunday, September 20, 2015

Melbourne's map of trees

Earlier this year Kevin and I had a short but rewarding holiday in Melbourne and we absolutely loved the city for many and various reasons, including its libraries (the State Library of Victoria is wonderful, and the new Docklands library too) and its trees...

Melbourne has a LOT to recommend it - a city full of handsome buildings with parks and gardens around every corner, free trams in the CBD, brilliant restaurants in Chinatown, little Italy and the Greek precinct, shopping and night markets. Other highlights for us included the Ian Potter Centre of Australian art, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Botanical gardens, the Immigration museum and Kevin also went to the MCG and Sports Museum where he took a (virtual) 4 runs off a Shane Warne over!

Look out for shops full of macarons of every flavour and hue, Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller with a shop full of books and owls (customers buy books and bring owls to add to the collection), the delicatessen at Queen Victoria Markets with gorgeous bread, olives, salami, coffee, chocolate and more, and then there's the trees...

The elms are the oldest in the world now since Dutch Elm disease decimated the northern hemisphere, plus sycamore, oaks, plane trees, gum, pines, palms.  Check out the Urban Forest Visual where each of the city’s 70,000 trees has been mapped with a description of its genus, age and condition – now there’s a city that values its foliage.

Wouldn't it be great to have a map like this for Roland's Wood?

As you scroll down you can read about the steps Melbourne city is taking to increase diversity and reduce risks, which is EXACTLY the same thing that John Horrell is talking about for Roland's Wood.

From the Urban Forest website : 

Increasing diversity

A lack of species diversity leaves the urban forest vulnerable to threats from pests, disease, and stress due to climate change. Currently our urban forest is dominated by eucalypts, planes, elms and gums (corymbias). Many of these trees were planted at the same time during condensed periods of planting activity, and large numbers of elms and planes are now reaching the end of their useful life expectancy.

37% of planes have a life expectancy of less than 10 years.

50% of elms have a life expectancy of less than 10 years.

Reducing Risk

Combined with the substantial losses associated with an ageing tree population, myrtle rust and sycamore lace bug are current threats to the Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Platanus genera. Diversification is a basic rule for reducing risk. A greater range of species will provide greater resilience and long-term stability for the forest as a whole.

Anyway, I'd say if you are looking for a place in Australia to visit for a holiday, go to Melbourne!  It is often voted as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and is a Unesco City of Literature too – leaves on branches, leaves in books...