Author Archives: gb

  1. Property Pre-purchase Tree Inspections

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    When considering purchasing a property with the intention of redevelopment, having a pre-purchase tree inspection may save a great deal of hassle, time and money. 

    It is usual for a building inspection to be undertaken prior to sale – so why not trees!

    Trees play a very important role in environmental amenity and generally they are not easily removed within the urban environment.  Rules and regulations on trees differ between councils; the property zoning, environmental conservation and significant trees, even outside the property’s boundary, all can dramatically influence the development application(DA)/Complying Development (CDC) success. 

    Trees need space and do form a constraint upon development opportunities. 

  2. Termites – Good bugs: Bad bugs

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    Termites commonly found in the Sydney area. Species identification is via the soldiers castes.

    Nasutitermes spp – Two commonly encountered species are N. walkeri and N. exitiosus. They have a preference for hardwood timber. The soldiers do not have mandibles but a pointy snout (nasute) – see diagramme. Their heads are medium brown to very dark (almost black) and bodies mid brown in colour.

    N. walkeri build the familiar large dark nest within the tree canopy. They are not considered a pest species normally however under conducive conditions (moisture + damp and rotting timber) these termites can attack.

    N. exitiosus is a mound builder. Experience with this species in the Sydney region, their mounds can either be above ground or under. These termites are considered a pest of timber in service (buildings etc). They are difficult to differentiate from other Nasutitermes of similar size and looking for the nest is a reliable confirmation of their identity.

    Coptotermes spp: Again two commonly encountered species C. acinaciformis and C. frenchi. Both species typically are found in the root crown or lower trunk area. They are easily identified as the soldiers produce a “milky” exudate from the top of the head and sometimes a tapping noise can be heard when disturbed in built structures. They form very populous colonies and will consume both softwoods (pines) and hardwood timbers.

    Bother species are classified as serious pests of timber in service. If found within a built structure, correct identification and advice sought from a pest control technician is required.

    Schedorhinotermes intermedius although common in the environment, it is less often encountered. This termite is easily identified by the two differing sized soldiers. They are considered pests of timber in service.

    The average size of all these termites is 5mm in length.

  3. Three tree facts you might not have known

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    Fact 1: Did you know the smallest seed produces the tallest tree.

    The Australian native tree -Eucalyptus regnans (Mountain Ash) is considered the tallest growing hardwood in the world (about 80 – a recorded whopping 140 metres – and therefore a claim “it’s the tallest growing flowering plant” on the planet. The average seed size is 1.5 – 3mm in length (

    When comparing the seed size of the Mountain Ash, to say, seeds of common foods such avocado, mango, coconut, corn, peas etc – how does such a small seed produce such a tall tree?

    The Californian redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are classified as “Softwoods” (pines) have also recorded impressive growth heights taller or equal to our Mountain Ash. Pines produce cones not flowers.

    Fact 2: Not all termites are destroyers of buildings.

    Some like to eat only grass whilst others rotting timber and logs, some species of termites live in live trees and never come into contact with the ground. Then there are those which come to visit………….!

    Fact 3: The secrets of bark – Have you ever wondered about the importance of bark to a tree?

    Bark is textural, colourful, tactile and sometimes emits odour – often there is a seasonal variation to its appearance; sometimes on the same tree a combination of rough bark and smooth will be present. – Bark offers important clues in the identification of a tree.

    The makeup of the outer surface layers referred to as “bark” is anything but simple. Apart from creating a protective layer (cork cambium), which can be thick, thin or somewhere in between and vary in the degree of living tissue, bark is the region where new cell are produced(vascular cambium) allowing the tree to grow; moisture and nutrients flow upwards and sugars flow downwards (xylem and phloem). This region of the tree is vital for the life and vigour of a tree. Any breach in the bark coverage has the potential to permit the entry of wood destroying pathogens and insects. Bark is often very easily damaged.