Review the policy to destroy roadside fruit trees
This petition made change with 120 supporters!
The Latrobe City Council has a policy to cut down all non-native fruit trees on roadsides and poison the stumps. A number of apple trees and plum trees have already been destroyed in Yinnar South.
Chris Dash, Council's Supervisor Arborist said that Council aims to create native indigenous vegetation corridors. However, there are no plans to revegetate the areas left bare by removing the trees, which leaves them open to infestation by noxious weeds such as blackberries. There is also no provision to be made for native birds such as king parrots which rely on the non-native fruit as an important food source, due to loss of original habitat.
While non-indigenous plants are to be removed from roadsides, Chris Dash said that Council will continue to plant the garden escape weed Agapanthus in Council garden beds because they are "hardy". This is despite the advice in "Grow me instead" (a Latrobe City Council publication) that "...[agapanthus] invade roadsides, bushland and waterways, and are often grown because of their hardiness and impossibility to be killed!" Chris Dash added that the agapanthus are trimmed every year to stop them seeding.
Many in the community enjoy picking wild fruit on roadsides, which can be stewed and made into pies and cider. We would like Council to concentrate their efforts on removing noxious and garden escape weeds such as agapanthus which are invasive, rather than destroying fruit trees which do not spread easily. We would like Council to review this policy prior to any further destruction of non-native fruit trees along roadsides.
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