Sunday Selections # 154

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to TheElephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.

Kath and Andrew often join in as well, although Kath has been quite busy lately and unable to join us.
There a couple of other (occasional)participants now though:
Jackie K at WorkingThrough It

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections but this week I have a slightly different selection.

Someone in Sweden knows more about my city than I do!
(I hope I got the link right)

Marie heard about the Adelaide council wanting to remove an apparently healthy Moreton Bay fig tree from the corner of Grenfell Street and Pulteney Street, and emailed me. So I checked my local paper and there was the story. 
Council was saying the tree was ill, arborists were saying there's nothing wrong with it. Council was concerned large limbs might fall in a big wind, arborists countered with the violent wind we'd just had and not a single branch either falling or breaking. 

Tree has been pruned. 

Not yet removed and I hope it doesn't come to that. The removed branches were the ones that overhung the footpath creating welcome shade on a hot day.
And dropping leaves and seeds which is probably what the council is really objecting to, so why not just have a council worker sweep the footpath?  Too easy....

 Look what they done to my tree, Ma,

Look what they done to my tree.... (remember that song?)
There are three other corners to this intersection, each with a Moreton Bay fig tree.
I fear for them. 

Marie used to live in Adelaide, in the Eastern suburbs and mentioned to me another Moreton Bay fig tree that used to stand in Coke Park at Norwood. She remembers being part of the protesting group that stood or sat around the tree, or petitioned to save it when "they" were threatening to remove it. I'm not sure how long ago that was, but when I was living there and working at Norwood Mall, I don't remember seeing a Moreton Bay fig tree. So last week as I was checking my PO box out there, I went to Coke Park and took photos. 

180* from right (where the shopping mall is) to left, (housing), not a Moreton Bay fig tree in sight.

On my way home, I walked through Rundle Mall. 
You may remember I recently mentioned the Western end of the Mall is now "renovated". Well, that's what "they" call it. 
Large shady trees removed and replaced with tiny saplings, no shade there for the next 20 years....
bench seats were removed and replaced with modern block seats with no backs to them....
perfectly good pavers were replaced with ugly grey ones. 

The Eastern end, from Gawler Place to Pulteney Street appeared to have been spared. 
Well, on my way through, I saw that was no longer the case. 
The Eastern end is being "worked on". 

 working on the Mall.

 digging up the poles....

digging up perfectly good, comfortable bench seats.

We are the driest state in one of the hottest countries, where is the sense in removing much needed shade?

They are ruining our city......


  1. During their takeover of ST Kilda the latte set got the local council to replace bench seats with a backless type to discourage the homeless and other undesirables from lounging on them.
    When the latte set invade they do it thoroughly, or what good is a fine education?

  2. Oh River. That is soooo sad. A tree is such a valuable addition to any landscape. And in a hot and dry climate, they are more than welcome, I consider them a necessity.
    I do hope that the butchered/pruned tree survives.

  3. I had no idea olive trees could get to be so big. Like you say, what a shame to remove... or drastically prune... trees. They're so important for shade, to prevent erosion, and for the sheer beauty of them. Sometimes the things done in the name of "progress" are dumb, dumb, dumb.

    (Yes, I remember that song... and you used the reference to it beautifully.)

  4. The council where I am had to take trees out because the roots were pushing down retaining walls and lifting the footpath.....I don't understand why they don't get the proper information in the first place about the growing habits of the trees they want to plant......sometimes progress doesn't seem like progress.....
    Hugs and Blessings
    Barb xx

  5. Have 'they' removed the 'pigs' and the 'balanced balls' scultptures - hopefully not.
    We lived in Adelaide for a few years and one of the banes of living there was never being able to find a shady spot in a car park - not a tree to be found.

  6. So sad. I hate to see mature trees amputated and/or cut down.
    They did similar in the Perth suburb we lived for a while.

    I blame the street/city 'scapers for bad initial planning. Not choosing correct trees for the situation in the first place.
    This happens in so many cities where things like huge gums under power lines on suburban streets are removed en masse due to poor initial planning.

    A real shame to see those beautiful bench seats go. I wonder if they are auctioned off to the public, given/sold to council staff members or just thrown to the recycle/waste facility.

  7. A sad tale. One wonders about the town planners that have been employed. Your point about dry hot continent is so right. Dear old Campbell Newman ruined our city square by removing fountains, grass and trees and filling the space with heat reflecting concrete with no shade. I think money rather than common sense is the driving force.

  8. Sometimes trees are placed without consideration of how they will grow. We had to remove our big tree because the roots were invasive.

  9. R.H. I'm not sure the latte set has anything to do with this. It's the Adelaide council and developers.

    Elephant's Child; I hope the tree is left alone to recover, it isn't in Rundle Mall, thank goodness, it would have been ripped out long ago. You should see what they've done to our Victoria Square!

    Susan; it isn't an olive tree, it is a Moreton Bay fig, they are HUGE, with wide spreading branches and so very shady. Our parklands north of the city have many of them.

    Barbara Neubeck; I don't think the Rundle Mall trees were a problem, I certainly didn't notice any roots pushing up pavers, yet they've been removed and new small saplings put in their place. The Moreton Bay figs, one street over have been there as long as I can remember with no trouble at all, yet this one has been drastically pruned, with talk of it being removed.

    Cathy; welcome to drifting. The pigs are still there, although they have been moved along a bit and three are repositioned to look as if they are watching the "big screen". The balls are still in the same spot, there was talk of moving them aside and many people objected, so they weren't touched. Yet. Too many of our car parks are treeless, makes me glad I don't drive.

    Vicki; I'm not sure poor planning is the case here. The trees down the centre of Rundle Mall weren't huge and didn't seem to be causing any problems, yet they've been replaced with small saplings of Chinese Elms. In the new Chinese pavers. It's MY opinion, that this is to foster good will with Asians, in particular Chinese, who are buying real estate within our city. I don't see the point, if we Aussies buy real estate in China or anywhere else, do they and their governments bend over backwards to plant Aussie natives to make us feel at home? Of course not. We're expected to accept what they have and get on with life. The Moreton Bay figs in Grenfell Street aren't in the way of anyone or anything that I know of, I see no reason for them to be pruned or removed. I didn't think to ask what happens to the bench seats, if they're just getting dumped that is a definite black mark against those whose authority decreed it. I'd happily have a few installed in the gardens here if I could.

    diane b; I think at least some of the problem is developers and planners trying too hard to copy other cities and the way they look, without giving any consideration to the fact those other places aren't anywhere near as hot and dry as we are.

    Susan Kane; I agree, I've seen many homes with trees such as pencil pines planted close to the house and having to be cut back every year because they grow as they were meant to, straight up, and then they are under the eaves and guttering causing problems. Also trees with large roots planted too close to house foundations etc. But these city trees didn't appear to be in the way, not close to any buildings at all.

  10. I am about to agree with Robbert about the seats. Mustn't have the homeless being comfortable.
    As for the trees, most houses these days are built in huge communities so footpaths and roads are already there so there should be some research done on what kind of tree to plant. Unfortunately our Council refuses to remove any sort of gum regardless of how dangerous it is and I have two across the street from me. My neighbour has repeatedly asked for the branches that will bring down power and phones lines into her pool, to be removed and they just won't do it.

  11. So sad--I hate to see ANY tree cut down or butchered!!

  12. JahTeh; there is a three tier structure at the King William Street end of Rundle Mall, long and wide, perfect for homelss to stretch out and sleep on and I bet they do too. I'll take a photo next time I'm in town.

    fishducky; me too, we need trees so much. Where would the earth be without them?

  13. Do you recall my outer circle line walks? Plenty of great seats, with backs, but only a couple in shade. The last person injured by a falling limb from a Moreton Bay Fig was in the year of ??? Modern planners hate big trees and green grass. A pox on them.

  14. What happened in St Kilda is quite a story but briefly it's an example of the lower middle class "falling in love" with an area and wanting it for themslves. This means cleaning it out -not just the litter but people as well, it means making the place unpleasant for low renters. This latte set, dirty hypocrites, get on the council themselves or start squawking in local newspapers about the need for a clean-up. Meanwhile the entire thing is being driven by estate agents and property developers. They're not awfully bright, the latte set.
    Melbourne itself has made many attempts at creating a city square, each one of them inept. The current effort, calling itself Federation Square is a vast, windswept, treeless desert. if you're feeling depressed it'll make you worse.

  15. I often wonder where council gets their "amazing" ideas from. Change is not ALWAYS better.

  16. I wonder why they would cut down such lovely shady trees - that's awful. You'd understand if they were causing problems, had rot or disease or were dangerous in some way, and hopefully there was a good reason of this kind, and not just the inconvenience of sweeping up leaves and seeds? (I love tree litter on the footpath).

  17. Those benches are so eighties. Need updated. Those pavers are so mundane. Replace them too.
    In my youth I stood in front of a bulldozer, arms locked with my comrades, to stop the builders from widening Juniper Street. We succeeded. It's still barely two lanes wide, and overhung by its trees. No one, including me, seems able to organize a protest these days.

  18. How sad to see the "pruned" tree. However, those Morten Bays are tough and I bet they adapt and florish in time.

    I think most council planners have an eye on the next election and choose rather short sighted policies to pander to the mood of the moment, or a developer with deep pockets. Of course you can argue that they perhaps could have chosen more suitable trees (the London Plane Trees on Frome Road being a prime example of previous folly) but it seems a shame to destroy a healthy tree for no special reason.

    Here they have a ghastly pruning technique called pollarding (embarrassingly I had to look up the Swedish term, then translate to English - arrgghh!) Where they heavily prune the limbs back to the stem. The results are to say the least hideous!. That's a picture from our local cemetery and it used to be a lovely avenue of shady Small Leafed Lime trees.

    I stand corrected on Coke Street. On thinking about it more, it was a huge old River Red Gum rather than a Morton Bay Fig. But this was more than 25 years ago, so my memory for details is a little hazy. It was still there when I moved away in 2000, so I'd be sad if it died like that poor tree at Burnside Village.

    The developers, who were building a Woolies supermarket (though I think it's a Coles now) tried to sabotage the tree. They brought in people to say that the tree was diseased, then dangerous (falling limbs) but the problem was that those fighting them were highly connected and able to produce their own experts to say otherwise. They tried a dirty tricks campaign as well, by coming in one night and drilling holes in the tree and pouring in poison, but that back-fired spectacularly. Not only did the tree survive and thrive, but the clandestine way they did it made people sit up and realise that they were lying toads. Many people who'd never protested before about anything came along to offer support.

    In the end, the mall developers could see a PR disaster, so they turned it around by foregoing those extra parking spaces and creating a park and playground area around the "significant" gum tree (amazing how it suddenly became an important tree when they saw dollars draining away). This all happened in the mid to late 1980s.

    My Swede tells me that there was an uprising here in the 1970s when there were plans to rip out a dozen lovely old elm trees in Stockholm to make way for a new underground station. Same tactics used by the developers and council (as usual hand in hand, with palms being greased by money). First the trees were reviwed by an expert and declared diseased and surplus to needs. Then the announcement was made about the new station. But funnily enough, Stockholmers put two and two together. :-)

    People immediately started to congregate around the threatened elms in protest. The woodcutter crews were greeted by angry crowds, with some activists climbing up among the branches, sitting there day and night and making safe work impossible. Grannies chained themselves to the tree.

    What made the protest particularly interesting from a sociological point of view, was that the “elm-savers” were not just young environmentalists, but people from all walks of Stockholm city life, from little old ladies and retired colonels to office workers and pop singers. It galvanised the city who were heartily sick of the development craze anyway.

    Police and woodcutters battled with the protesters for a week, until the city politicians finally gave in and decided to move the Tunnelbana station to a different location.

    Forty years later, the apparently "sick and diseased" elms are still standing there, as monuments to “the will of the people”. And they are flourishing and remarkably healthy, providing much needed shade in the summer.

  19. Don't get me started, councils are crazy they are the same the world over.
    The way they trim trees around here is just awful but our council is very lazy so in a way we are lucky and they mainly leave them alone but if you go for a drive around Sydney you see some very strange shapes that the trees grow into after the trimming process.

  20. Andrew; even a decent seat without shade would be welcome, we older people like to be able to lean back and take the weight off for a few minutes.

    R.H. a vast, windswept treeless desert? I fear our developers are copying Melbourne then.

    Delores; I agree, change is NOT always better. Stark and modern loses all the charm in an old city.

    Jackie K; as far as I know there was nothing wrong with those trees apart from a little leaf litter and the fig tree would drop fruit that needed sweeping up. But the council has street sweepers, that should take care of any droppage.

    Joanne; I'm very glad to hear you were one of those who saved Juniper Street. I wish the same could happen here. People protest and councils say, okay we won't do this. (for now, we'll find another way when the people aren't noticing)

    Marie; looking at my photos of Coke Park, can you see the Red Gum? I don't know which one it was, I was living way down in Morphett Vale at the time. Interesting about the elms the Stockholm people saved. I wish I knew how to tell if a tree is diseased. It's one of the most common council reasons for removing trees, often untrue of course. We've had trees drilled and poisoned here too, sometimes by private landowners who want a large tree removed and council has said no, it's a significant tree and must remain.
    You're right about Woolies, it is Coles now and due to be redeveloped again this year. Coles owns the entire Norwood Mall, I've heard.

    Merlesworld; we have a lot of oddly shaped trees here too after council pruning. If only all the wires could be placed underground like is happening in new suburban housing developments. But that would be very expensive and restrict traffic too much all over the city. Any city.

  21. I'm sorry but somehow I missed your Sunday Selections this week.
    I am with everyone else in that many modern so-called 'improvements' are not for the better at all.
    This is one of your most interesting blogs 'cos you cover so many items of importance and you've certainly stirred up some bitter feelings. It's amazing how the 'man in the street' often seems to know more than those in power isn't but seldom get asked what 'he' would like.


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