ORANGE’S famous tree-filled avenues will become residents’ responsibility as part of a strategy to keep the trees alive, but a councillor has argued streetscapes could end up bare as a result.
One third of freshly-planted trees died during the summer after dry weather in October and November.
Director of Community and Cultural Services Scott Maunder said the trees had been lost despite council watering crews’ best efforts.
“This year, we’re asking residents in the newer parts of Orange to commit themselves to assisting council to look after the newly-planted tree at the front of their house,” he said.
In an effort to preserve the 300 trees to be planted between June and August, residents moving into new areas of Orange will need to contact the council to have a tree planted.
Tree species can be requested, but they must be consistent with the streetscape.
Tree care crews will then plant the tree, including staking, fertilising and watering, however, further watering, mulching and avoiding damage to the tree will be up to the resident.
The approach will only apply to newer residential areas. Where an established street tree dies or has to be removed, it will be replaced.
Mr Maunder was optimistic residents would do the right thing by their street by asking for a new tree and the strategy would be reviewed as it progressed.
Bron Ryan was one of several Gartrell Way residents who took it upon themselves to water tulip trees in distress during the summer.
“It’s just pride in your street, it’s just the personal reward and I think the trees are beautiful,” she said.
“It would be a crying shame to lose them.”
However, councillor Neil Jones opposed the measure, saying the council should be responsible for planting street trees in front of all newly-completed houses.
“People who have invested more into their properties will perhaps take greater care, but where the blocks are cheaper, I suspect people won’t care,” he said.
“However, owners and tenants change and new residents might willingly look after a previously-planted street tree.
“If streetscapes are not planted out and managed as a whole, there is every likelihood that significant gaps will occur in the streetscape, to the detriment of future neighbourhood appearance.”
Requests for new street trees can be made by ringing the council’s customer service desk on 1300 650 511 or emailing CustomerService@orange.nsw.gov.au.
Requests for this year’s planting will be taken until August 31.