Saturday, December 4, 2021

Drought claims Armidale Elms

A number of English Elm Trees that line the avenue paths in Armidale’s MacDonald Park have fallen victim to the 2019 drought, and will be removed from the park later this month, Armidale Regional Council has announced.

Council said an assessment of trees within the park has identified that nearly 80% of the English Elms and other mature trees in the park had severely declined and required urgent removal for the safety of the public.

Armidale Regional Council General Manager, James Roncon said the drought has significantly impacted the health of many trees across the region.

“Assessments of trees within urban public spaces is being conducted across the Local Government Area as part of Council’s Tree Program, and unfortunately many of our mature stately trees are in severe decline or have already reached end of life.”

“All is not lost though, once the affected trees have been removed from MacDonald Park, we will prepare for replanting,” said Mr Roncon.

He said the viability of English Elms were in question due to the presence of the Elm Leaf Beetle within town and their moisture requirements mean they struggle on hard, drier grounds like MacDonald Park.

“The Elms will be replaced with Scarlet Oak Trees as they are more drought tolerant, better suited to the conditions and are already existing in the Park,” said Mr Roncon.

Council staff will undertake extensive ground preparation and soil conditioning to address any nutrient deficiencies and to allow moisture to infiltrate the soil profile. The deteriorated trees in MacDonald Park will be replaced in Autumn 2022.

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