Greens candidate for Lake Macquarie Council North Ward, Ms Jane Oakley, used National Tree Day today as an opportunity to announce that she would champion a fresh approach to strategic tree management in Lake Macquarie, if she is elected on 8 September.
As volunteers and property owners around Lake Macquarie celebrated National Tree Day by planting new trees, Ms Oakley congratulated them on the gift they were bestowing on following generations.
“Trees provide benefits throughout their lives, and often beyond. Generally, the larger a tree the greater the benefit it provides. The longer a tree lives, the longer it continues to provide those benefits,” Ms Oakley said.
However, many trees do not grow large enough or long enough to provide their maximum benefit. They succumb to lack of water, or vandalism, or predation, or inadequate care, or are removed because of ill-founded fear of risk, or from competition with development.
“All around are trees that are sickly and damaged, that drop dead branches and aren’t aesthetically pleasing, which need to be removed before they attain a fraction of their potential,” Ms Oakley said.
“Trees must be nurtured and cared for if the maximum benefit is to be derived from them.”
“Let the trees we plant be those that are around to shade and cool our grandchildren, to clean the air they breathe, and to provide them with relief and enjoyment in their daily living,” Ms Oakley said.
“Trees are nature’s air conditioners. They suck up moisture from the earth and transpire water though their leaves, to evaporate and cool the air. Not only do they cool the air, they clean it. Their leaves filter particulate matter and absorb gases, such as carbon dioxide. The bulk of every tree was once carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Ms Oakley said.
Trees provide habitat and facilitate healthy biodiversity. “We must protect and manage our urban trees so that ecological communities are linked by sustainable vegetative corridors, that permit the migration of birds and other tree-dependent fauna,” Ms Oakley said.
“Trees are a fundamental component of the urban ecosystem and must be managed on a sustainable basis. Planting trees alone is not enough. We must care for our trees.”
“If I am elected as a councillor, I will work to ensure Lake Macquarie Council places more emphasis on the good care and management of the thousands of trees for which it is responsible, and supports the community in caring for their trees also,” Ms Oakley said.
Further information: Jane Oakley – 0401 867 080