Kalgoorlie-Boulder will embark on the biggest and most ambitious street tree planting program in a century.
In the wake of last Saturday’s storm that is estimated to have destroyed 2000 street trees, the City Council will attempt to plant replacements in the next two years.
Mayor John Bowler said the City’s street tree program had seen 400 young trees planted along many of the main thoroughfares in Kalgoorlie-Boulder this year.
“The trouble is, those numbers have been dwarfed by the destruction on Saturday afternoon and while the new trees will take decades to reach maturity we have to start somewhere,” he said.
“While we may be planting trees for our children and grandchildren we have to start somewhere, as the longest march starts with a single step.
“Some we have lost were a century old and while we can’t do anything about that, what we can do is assure the community that council replants those lost so that in time the street trees of Kalgoorlie and Boulder will be even better than before.”
Mr Bowler said there has been some criticism of some of the larger trees that were felled in the storm. In most cases they were planted more than 50 years ago and since then horticultural research and knowledge meant that the City’s approach to tree planting had adapted and now better reflects the urban environment of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
“Just because we live in the Goldfields Woodlands, that does not mean Kalgoorlie-Boulder can only have native trees, because some of those fared the worst on Saturday,” he said.
The Mayor said the City’s forward budget currently allowed for the infill of 400 new trees every year, but that will now be increased to accelerate the program.
Residents can play their part in the long-term recovery project by looking after young trees immediately in front of their property.