Tree days to make a week

Photo credit Andrew TatnellFrom little seeds mighty trees grow. If you plant a tree today you are planting a seed of hope for the future. They say that time spent amongst these trees is time never wasted.

Over 100 years ago Charles Weston was appointed as the inaugural officer-in-charge of planting trees for the future capital of Australia. On the banks of a rabbit infested Molonglo River, Weston was ever mindful of his daunting task to create a welcoming, hospitable urban oasis on the harsh limestone plains. It was a task he embraced with great gusto.

Implementing Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin’s city master plan, Weston planted the seeds of a grand vision culminating in the beautiful streetscapes we take for granted today. His vision was built on the simple premise that by planting trees you could add to the built landscape and improve human comfort.

We owe a debt of gratitude to this remarkable pioneer who laid the foundation upon which our urban environment has matured gracefully with time.

Today that vision has been realised. With shades of a stunning autumn colour now around us Weston’s horticultural choices are filtering down through the ages.

Autumn brings us perhaps another spring where every colourful leaf can be seen as a stunning flower. Our established neighbourhoods, suburbs and streets are awash with the warm vivid colour of Weston’s palette.

Our urban trees play a crucial role in moderating microclimates. With the impacts from climate change being increasingly felt, trees form a significant element in our city's green infrastructure. Street trees provide shade and shelter. They cast a welcoming shadow on a hot summer’s day.

On a breezy winter’s day deciduous trees transform to invite the sun’s warmth into our homes. Urban trees also improve the connectivity for native habitat which enhances the biodiversity of our environment.

These spectacular autumn leaves are now making their way onto our footpaths. As an environmental gesture raking leaves out of roadside gutters is a small but important step in protecting our wonderful waterways from the risk of algal blooms.

You can play your part in keeping our waterways clean by composting autumn leaves. They provide a free source of garden mulch and a highly effective means of returning nutrients to the soil as opposed to our urban waterways.

As a means of celebrating the importance of local trees, Canberra’s Tree Week is being held this week. There are many activities on offer including walks, exhibitions and even tree climbing championships! To find out more visit Canberra Tree Week - Transport Canberra and City Services

Photo credit Andrew Tatnell

Brett Mac

Brett McNamara - Regional Manager with ACT Parks & Conservation Service

Brett loves our national parks almost as much as the Gang-gang on his uniform. He is prone to using the word 'majestic' when referring to the bush capital. He loves talking. A lot. His favourite animal is the playful Platypus.

Article also appeared in The Chronicle