NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT: Skye Blake, a former Grafton Public School pupil, says the pecan trees should stay. Photo Georja Ryan / Daily Examiner
NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT: Skye Blake, a former Grafton Public School pupil, says the pecan trees should stay. Photo Georja Ryan / Daily Examiner Georja Ryan

Can’t see the wood for the pecan trees

SKYE Blake may only be in Year 8, but she is not letting her age get in the way of having her voice heard.

As a former Grafton Public School student, Skye spent years playing beneath the iconic pecan trees that are soon to be removed from the playground. Here's what she had to say:

To The Daily Examiner,

My name is Skye Blake, an ex-pupil of Grafton Public School, and I highly object to the cutting down of 27 pecan trees that stand in the school gully. I am aware all the trees have been deemed extremely dangerous because of their age but a few of these trees haven't actually been around for 70 years and are still healthy and with occasional trimming would be fine for another few years.

This is the first time in 150 years of schooling there has been a death by a tree branch and the chances of this happening again is what, one in a million, two million, six million? Children have died in car accidents at pedestrian crossings, 291 children have died from drowning and 122 have died bike riding since 2011, yet we haven't banned cars, crossing roads, bike riding, having a bath or swimming.

As well as that, thousands of adults die from obesity and skin cancer a year. Yet we are able to eat freely and go outside whenever we please. I know how tragic the incident was in Sydney and I feel great empathy towards the family but cutting down all the "deemed dangerous" trees in all public schools is too extreme.

At school they teach us what is right and what is wrong. They teach us that helping protect the environment is right and destroying ecosystems is wrong, but how are we meant to believe this when our own leaders are killing the sharks in Western Australia, destroying the Great Barrier Reef and cutting down historic trees! We are taught that deforestation is wrong and must be stopped! But now it doesn't apply because of a very sad freak of nature that we can't control.

I know the school is looking for the most outstanding local millers to turn the wood into the finest furniture, but isn't the wood rotten? And I have never met a child who would rather sit in a chair than play under trees. Taking out the trees at the school is also taking away adventure, fun and imagination; these trees have been the start of many creative stories, artworks and make-believe games. Taking them out is taking away the kids' inspiration.

The extreme action towards the tragedy isn't reliable or well thought out. Yes, some of those trees are in need of cutting down but definitely not all 27 of them. I'm positive most of them could be kept standing with close surveillance. The trees may be going down, but I' m not and I'm sure others aren't either without a fight.



Will Grafton real estate be 'insulated' from crash?

premium_icon Will Grafton real estate be 'insulated' from crash?

Projects propping up local property market

Strawberry boom amid tampering crisis

premium_icon Strawberry boom amid tampering crisis

"We are now selling more strawberries...that I've ever sold before."

Support the cancer council on Second Hand Saturday

Support the cancer council on Second Hand Saturday

Reuse, reduce and recycle for the cancer council this saturday

Local Partners