Save our trees

Increasingly, big, beautiful old trees are being chopped down and being replaced with – nothing. Apart from the valuable shade they offer, and the aesthetic value, they’re also, in many cases, an effective noise buffer against traffic sounds.

Reasons for hacking down many of the historic monoliths range from “the white ants were eating the roots” (sometimes unfounded) – to “there was too much shade”.

In other cases, developers will buy a piece of land and then mow down every tree on the property before starting to build. Many spare little thought on the future of the development without any trees or foliage to soften the look and appeal, or how the sun will affect temperatures within the building. And often, they don’t appear to consider how the trees and foliage can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a new property.

In Hilton, historic old pin oaks, liquid ambers, plane trees and others are being chopped down left, right and centre.

However, concerned tree lovers are calling for a stop to this, and

recommending alternatives. One developer   showed us a house he’d just

completed where he’d designed the entire building around an old evergreen camphor tree. “Trees are the lifeblood of Hilton,” he said.

“Yes there are times when they’re in conflict with humanity, when bridges, sewers and septic tanks, for instance, take priority, but generally, trees can often be accommodated rather than eliminated.” This particular case involved pruning the tree, building the house on a “pad and lintel” foundation system to avoid any roots damaging the nether regions of the house, which is on a property dating back to 1906.

He said several other developers had also incorporated leafy old trees within the design of their buildings, which helped eliminate, to a degree, the noise of the traffic from the N3 and improved the look and feel of the building. “But others just remove every tree before building. Why can’t they prune instead?”

Peta Lee

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