Since the end of 2017, DPTI no longer needs to ask for Government permission to remove trees for its projects, even if they are large trees. Trees are being removed in increasing numbers from private land, predominantly for urban subdivision of large old blocks with mature trees.
Conservation SA held a meeting in November 2019 as an offshoot to the earlier New Planning & Design Code meeting. The existing Significant and Regulated Trees legislation fails to protect trees so attendees were dismayed to hear these laws would not be improved in the new Planning & Design Code.
Several like-minded individuals met together as the ‘Who Speaks for the Trees?’ group. Joanna Wells began one change.org petition for the historic Waite Lodge and trees, threatened by road-widening, and a campaign ‘How many more, Premier?’
The Covid-19 lockdown halted an intended symposium and protest at Parliament House but a petition and tree banner placement has gone ahead. Send new tree banner photos and info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the end of 2017, DPTI no longer needs to ask for Government permission to remove trees for its projects, even if they are large trees. It is both jury and executioner and accurate figures about trees felled are hard to find. Trees are being removed in increasing numbers from private land, predominantly for urban subdivision of large old blocks with mature trees. Developers usually clear land totally even when trees could be retained as features or on fence lines. They do not seem to understand that trees can improve the value of a property.
Councils have little power over tree removals on private land or even for DPTI projects. Residents have little say about keeping valued local trees which are often removed before anyone knows. Adelaide used to be called the garden city when I first moved here nearly 30 years ago because the trees towered over single-storey houses but now buildings go up and trees come down.
It takes years for a tree to grow and start putting out a good-sized canopy. Adelaide had the lowest tree canopy cover of all capital cities in 2014 – only 27%, with our area at the lower end of metro councils - Holdfast Bay at 13.4% tree canopy cover and Marion 15.3%. Despite council efforts to plant more street trees, the tree canopy cover is probably reducing - 1 mature tree removed may have more tree canopy cover than 100 young trees.
Biodiversity is threatened as tree hollows take up to 100 years to form for native fauna while nestboxes or reused hollows are poor alternatives. Hollows in living trees are temperature-regulated - kept cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
If you feel strongly about this issue, please let us know but also sign the petitions, tell your friends and maybe put a banner on a prominent local tree.