Home' Moorabool Matters : Moorabool Matters Feb 2010 Contents 6 MOORABOOL MATTERS - COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2010
PRESERVING OUR HONOUR
UPDATE ON THE AVENUE OF
Work is continuing to preserve the prestige of Bacchus Marsh's
iconic centre piece -- the Avenue of Honour.
Council's Parks & Gardens team have been undertaking
extensive tree inspections and general remedial works to
ensure the safety of the Avenue of Honour trees and also
retain the character of the magnificent tree-lined road as much
as is practicably possible.
With the trees approaching their hundredth year, a number of
factors, including the natural aging process, inherent structural
deficiencies, alterations to root zones and markedly increased
traffic flows, have seen many of them in need of attention and
some in need of replacement.
The high level of traffic on the road has also had a negative
impact on the trees, with the road being compacted by the
many large trucks that use the road.
The original trees, mostly elms, were planted in 1918 along the
main road into Bacchus Marsh in honour of the men and
women from the district who ser ved in the Australian Imperial
Forces in the First World War.
An added bonus to the health of the trees will be the
realignment of the Western Highway.
As well as greatly improving safety along the Western Highway,
the realignment will provide alternate local access to the
freeway that will dramatically ease the stress that Bacchus
Marsh's iconic trees have suffered for many years.
The same initiative will also improve the road safety for the
local community given the close proximity of the trees to the
This corresponding change of local traffic will also remove
heavy vehicles from other local streets, like Grant Street, that
have large trees, further enhancing the local environment.
Parks & Gardens have been closely monitoring the health of
the trees for a number of years.
Where safety has become an issue the tree has been replaced
with propagated trees from the original stock. To date about
40 trees have been replaced.
To prepare for this, Council started the tree replacement
strategy four years ago with trees being propagated from buds
taken from existing trees, which have displayed healthy and
strong botanical characteristics.
Any trees that need to be removed are being replaced with
healthy young trees about five metres in height.
At the same time, long term planning has provided for the
continuation of the 'cathedral feel' of the Avenue of Honour
trees, by staging the replacement to allow for the growth of
new trees, prior to the replacement of as many original trees
as possible. This has included very careful tree management
that involves the use of cables and branch load reduction to
extend tree life.
Unfortunately there continues to be a need to reduce the
causes of the accelerated tree deterioration.
Also committed to the project, the Federal Government have
provided a grant of $500,000 to assist Council to ensure the
Avenue continues to be a feature beyond the current trees.
Council is well progressed with this funding, providing much-
needed tree management and the replacement of unsafe trees.
Community enjoyment of the trees is also being enhanced
with the construction of carparking, interpretive signage, paths
and more consistent commemorative plaques for the fallen
soldiers. The protection of the trees and retention of water is
also being improved by the use of mulch and the use of
external watering of the trees.
Council has had extensive discussions with the Bacchus Marsh
branch of the RSL, which also fully supports the works to the
existing Elm trees, including removal of dangerous trees and
their replacement. Agreement has been reached regarding the
establishment of a new commemoration to soldiers along the
proposed extension of Woolpack Road to commemorate
those ser ving in wars after World War I.
The constr uction of Woolpack Road extension and
interchange with the Western Highway will enable a tourist
route to be established in the Avenue of Honour, commencing
at Hopetoun Park, where ramps will enable traffic travelling
from Melbourne to access the Old Western Highway from the
newly constructed re-aligned freeway. This pleasant route is
expected to be popular with visitors to the area.
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