GRAFTON's streets are lined with more than 7000 trees comprising 96 different species, but at this time of year it is the jacarandas, which make up a third of that stock shine the brightest.
So when Clarence Valley Council removed a bank of non-natives trees from Mary St, near Jacaranda Avenue, local residents wondered why they were not replaced with the iconic tree of our town.
"Trees are living assets, and at some point they outlive their safe useful lifespan and must be replaced to ensure a sustainable population. Best management practice recommends this replacement occurs before the tree actually dies,” Clarence Valley Council works and civil director Troy Anderson said.
"Thirty one african tulipwood trees were removed from Mary St in line with this policy, and were replaced with watergums.”
The trees were selected in line with council's Street Tree Master Plan, and Wrigley's Heritage Tree Survey that identified that in areas where existing avenues of jacarandas occur the removed trees will be replaced with jacarandas, in areas where no existing jacaranda avenue planting is apparent the removed trees will be replaced with more suitable native species.
"Ten jacarandas will also be removed following flower season, enabling the refreshing of trees in Mary St between Victoria and Oliver street,” Mr Anderson said.
"In the past three years council has planted about 250 jacarandas in Grafton to replace ageing stock and strengthen avenues.”
Mr Anderson said there was often considerable debate within a community about what types of trees are best suited for use as street plantings.
"There is no perfect street tree; every selection has some compromise between positive and negative values,” he said.
"This is done in consideration of the local environmental factors and site conditions and the available space for trees. The local character of the town centre is also an important factor in determining the most appropriate species to complement and reinforce.
"The historical precedent of planting in Grafton illustrates the differing objectives. Having a diverse selection of species for differing site situations and constraints is a better strategy for future tree planting generally.”
Meanwhile, the Jacaranda Queens Party decided to do their bit to help boost the floral numbers in Grafton by adding one to the collection.
The group planted a new jacaranda at the aptly named Jacaranda Park on Tuesday.