Image: Linkoping University’s laboratory of organic electronics has already proven it is possible to build a functioning electronic circuit within a rose bush. (supplied/Eliot Gomez)
Excellent article and podcast by Antony Funnell on Radio National’s, Future Tense about the underestimated power of plants.
Funnell “ventures to the frontiers of plant science to meet researchers who believe the power of botanical organisms has long been underestimated.”
ArborCarbon’s Managing Director and Chief Scientist, Dr Paul Barber was asked by the Western Suburbs Weekly, to comment and provide data on the canopy cover of the suburb of Swanbourne, amid fears that the area is losing too much canopy cover.
“CALCULATIONS show that redeveloping the SAS’s Seaward Village in Swanbourne could mean the loss of 25,000sq m of cooling tree canopy, in addition to an estimated 12ha lost in the City of Nedlands recently.
“You’re certainly going to lose tree canopy if you bowl it all over – about that there’s no doubt,” Arbor Carbon director and Murdoch University associate professor Paul Barber said.”
Nedlands losing it’s tree cover
ArborCarbon scientists undertook a study over 2 years based on aerial surveys using multi-spectral, high resolution imaging. The results were startling and concerning.
The majority of councils within the ‘leafy western suburbs’ have experienced a loss in canopy cover over the two-year period.
The study showed that the hottest areas in the western suburbs had little vegetation and an excess of sand. Examples include Campbell Barracks, Mt Claremont, the area south of UWA, immediately west of Shenton bushland, the QEII medical centre and Sir Charles Gardner Hospital – and around Subiaco Square.
Some of the coolest areas are, of course, where there is a body of water like Lakes Claremont and Monger. Other cool areas include suburbs within Subiaco, the Wembley golf complex, and Perry Lakes Reserve.
I am passionate about the need to maintain and foster tree growth in urban areas. Replacement with young trees is not the solution as they could take 50 years to mature before the same shade and cooling benefits are realised.
We need to embrace trees and the benefits they provide, rather than seeing them as a nuisance or being scared that a tree will fail simply because it is a big tree.
The tree loss shown in this study is a major concern as we know that canopy cover is directly linked to the Urban Heat Island Effect. We are compounding the problem by not conserving our canopy and this impacts the health of people in our communities.
To read more please read the full story on WAtoday.
The federal government has announced it will establish goals for increasing the urban tree canopy cover in Australia’s cities, in an effort to reduce the heat island effect.Read this article on ArchitectureAU
- Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s website – Long-Term Planning And Cities For The Next Century – Sydney Business Chamber (points 4 and 4.2 in particular).
- Sydney Morning Herald – Turnbull government’s plan to make cities cooler and greener
I was interviewed by John J Zylstra regarding the ancient jarrah tree cut down in Perth’s southern suburbs last week.
Contractors cut down this awesome tree – their reasoning was because of bee hive in the tree hollows. I’m afraid this practice is all too common in locations that are proposed for future development in WA.
I’ve now seen it many, many times and I’m fed up.
This has become a major issue, and w invite you to share this video and show your concern.
Very few Jarrahs of this size exist now in the Perth urban area…
Today I went to visit the site a few minutes from me where a Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) possibly 500 years old or more, was felled for no good reason. This tree was nearly 2m in diameter at its widest point….that is over 6m around the base! It was a giant. Very few jarrahs of this size exist now in the Perth urban area….and I would say even in the world. This was a living link with the time of only indigenous occupation of this country.
I met with the person who discovered the contractors cutting this awesome tree to the ground. I must say…it all sounds very dodgy and I’m afraid this practice is all too common in locations that are proposed for future development in WA. I’ve now seen it many, many times and I’m fed up.
Yes, the tree had bees in the hollows, however, these could have been removed without too much difficulty. I measured the approximate height of the tree…around 22 metres at best. Distance to the nearest fence or footpath around 24 metres. Even if it failed at the base it would not have made direct impact with anybody. It resides in a bush-land corridor where very few people would walk..and to top it off, at the base it the heartwood was almost defect free.
Yes, the tree was in decline as you would expect for a tree of this age….it is possible that the health of the tree had been previously impacted from construction of nearby houses and the road…but it was battling on.
I’ve seen the main roads statement, and the arborist ‘report’….no arborist in his right mind conducting a risk assessment of this tree based on internationally recognised methods would ever condemn it. I can say this as I’ve learnt and become qualified and licensed in these methods.
This is senseless and begs the question as to the real reason this tree was condemned. People must be made accountable for this…….we, as members of this community, need to get tough on this. Perth has changed for the worse over the past 12 years I have been here…the green spaces and trees are disappearing fast, the water is drying up rapidly, our houses are getting bigger, our blocks of land smaller, our urban area hotter…this is all leading to a decline in our quality of life and will result in increased hospitalisations due to heat-related illness and reduced mental well-being.
We need trees and trees now need us…
Dr Paul Barber, ArborCarbon