Our Street of Ancient Oaks

Our street is lined with beautiful 80 year old oaks whose arms reach proudly skywards.


But of late, their leaves have drooped, their dark grey limbs appear wrinkled, brittle and dry. The drought Melbourne has been experiencing over the last few years has had its effect on all the beautiful big trees in this city. Melbourne is called the city of parks and gardens, but we are losing many of the our finest and oldest. The problem is not really the weather – Australia has always been a land of drought and our native trees do fine, but when the Europeans came, they planted exotic European trees – oaks, elms, liquid ambers, plane trees to remind themselves of home.

A major branch broke off one of the oaks on the opposite side of the street the other day. It fell right across the road luckily only slightly damaging my neighbour’s car.


She heard it from inside her house and said it sounded like a giant cement mixer. I was totally oblivious to all the comings and goings on that morning because I was locked inside the musical world of Bach with my ear phones stuffed in my ears. I was writing you see. I didn’t hear the chain saws as they cut the huge branch up into smaller pieces or the shredder as it gobbled up the wood.

It wasn’t until I went outside to take Saff for a walk that I saw what had happened.

My neighbour spoke to the aborist from the council. He said all these trees were suffering badly and that they might all have to come out sooner or later. I shuddered at the thought. The local councils seem to do things that make no sense and I wouldn’t put it past them to chop these trees down just for something to do. A few streets away there is a beautiful little park that runs from one street through to the next. Recently they fenced it in at an exorbitant cost to us rate payers. What for?

The aborist is assessing the oak with the broken limb. Hopefully the gash will heal and she will recover. We can’t afford to lose our trees. One is home to a wild beehive.

wild bees

Another provides a nesting hole for a pair of lorikeets who have just had babies. This is a shot of the lorikeet’s tail poking out of their hole with the partner sitting nearby. They were making lovely muttering sounds as I walked underneath them.



Another is a sleeping place for a tawny frogmouth but I can’t find her today.

And all of them are good for Saffy, who loves to go for walks beneath them, crunch on their acorns, and run through piles of golden leaves.


2 thoughts on “Our Street of Ancient Oaks

  1. Ah, I know what you mean. It seems the trees in my streets too are getting brittle with the heat. Hopefully it’ll pass though, and we’ll just have a little rain in the winter. Odd summer this year – there’s been a couple of days where’s it’s been 15-19 degrees. Hmm, Melbourne has weird weather :/

    The trees in my street are home to some interesting – some nice, some not so nice – animals too – like the bird that I like to call the chainsaw bird (It honestly sounds like one) that sings every morning at 5:00, to my distaste.

    But oh well – the pendulum will swing, and hopefully things will get better 🙂

    1. Hi Chrissie,
      Hmmm….the chainsaw bird, that’s a good name. It’s probably either a noisy minor or wattle bird. I love the melody of the magpies and also the butcher bird who has a beautiful melodic song. Speaking of chainsaws, I once heard a lyre bird mimicking a chain saw. They are incredible!

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