Last tree down a reason to party

Last tree down a reason to party

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Jen Francis from Armadale Gosnells Landcare and Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland coordinator Unice Robinson with a problem tree. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
Jen Francis from Armadale Gosnells Landcare and Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland coordinator Unice Robinson with a problem tree. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

The Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland celebrated the removal of the last Japanese Pepper tree from the Gosnells park this week, 35 years after their efforts began.

The group’s coordinator Unice Robinson said she and fellow volunteers began the mammoth task of removing the trees in 1981 after learning about their impact on the environment.

“The tree was brought in as an ornamental and the birds come and drop the seeds on what is really such fertile ground,” she said.

“Back in the 1970s when the area around the park was getting developed it wasn’t seen as an issue because the trees aren’t that bad looking.

“Of course now we’re a little bit more informed environmentally so in the 1980s we realised we had to do something about them because they were smothering our natives.”

She said since then the group had removed more trees than she could count.

“It’s been a long, slow and I’m going to say hard process and lots of people have been involved to actually remove them,” she said.

“Because they’re such a horrible tree to remove, even once you chop them down and paint them with chemicals to kill it the tree still doesn’t really die.

“They send out all these suckers and if you don’t remove them a couple of years down the track, you’ll have a big tree again.”

Ms Robinson said the group would continue to monitor the area for the next three to five years to ensure the trees didn’t re-emerge.

She said the land was also now ready for revegetation.

The group celebrated with a barbecue at Marry Carroll Park this week.