The City of Armadale has successfully relocated six trees to Frye Park, brought on by the Metronet-driven Denny Avenue Level Crossing Removal project.
As civil works progress towards the implementation of the level crossing for the Armadale train line, it was imperative that the City acted quickly to relocate several street trees.
The project involved the relocation of six Claret Ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) from the verge along Albany Highway and the corner of Fancote Street, in Kelmscott. These trees are known for their stunning, bronzy-red autumn colour, broad shade canopy and rich green leaves throughout the summer months. It was determined that the trees were to be relocated 750 metres to the nearby Frye Park playground, within Kelmscott.
According to historical aerial images, the trees were planted around 25 years ago. They are only semi mature, according to their species growth expectation of approximately 70 years.
The City engaged the expertise of the Arbor Centre to complete the works. The Arbor Centre is a longstanding Arboricultural organisation that has purposefully developed specialist skills in urban tree management, root zone management and mature/semi-mature tree transplanting.
“There was very small window of opportunity for successful transplantation in the first week of August, as these trees are deciduous, and were in winter dormancy,” said Mayor Ruth Butterfield.
“There is a lot of life left in the trees and it seemed such a waste to have them wood chipped due to the changes to Albany Highway. Relocating the large healthy trees to nearby Frye Park, has given an instant boost to the look and feel of the space near the picnic area. This summer the trees will provide essential shade for visitors and spectators at Frye Park.”
Other Ash trees located on the other side of Albany Highway (Caltex side) were not considered feasible for relocation due to its very close proximity to the high pressure gas line.
Preparation for the transplant process took three days, with a further three days for transportation, planting and staking with guy ropes into pre-prepared holes in Frye Park.
Some canopy pruning was required to fit the wrapped trees onto the truck and to be able to travel under power lines. Patrol vehicles escorted the trucks along the journey from Albany Highway to Gilwell Avenue. The trees were then crane-lifted into prepared holes, on the Northern side of the playground, in locations determined as providing maximum shade, by the Parks Design Department.
Trees were staked with guy ropes to ensure minimal root disturbance, in order to settle and re-establish. A reticulation system was installed prior to planting to make sure water was immediately available to the root systems, and a maintenance plan is in place to guarantee optimal growing conditions.
“Loss of urban tree canopy is a major issue for local governments. The City of Armadale is committed to tree preservation and conservation where possible, to ensure the suburbs remain comfortable for pedestrians, provide a sense of place, whilst creating aesthetically pleasing suburbs which in turn, adds value to properties,” said Mayor Butterfield.
The City and Project team are in constant discussion regarding the Metronet Design and all potentially impacted trees. The Frye Park transplant project was the first step in ensuring some trees are protected, retained or replaced.
Retention of trees, where possible, addresses the City’s key targets within the Urban Forest Strategy.