Posted by Scott Hackett on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 @ 2:19 AM
In 2013, the launch of the Urban Forest Visual website enabled Melbourne residents to email their favourite trees. Since the launch, more than 3000 emails – not just from Melbourne, but from all over the world! – have been received. The website maps each of Melbourne’s 77,000 trees – colour-coding them by age and health, and assigning each a number and email address.
Originally designed as a method for the public to notify council if a tree was damaged or suffering disease, council was surprised when people started emailing trees simply to tell them how much they loved them.
A golden elm, on the corner of Punt Road and Alexandra Avenue, across the road from the Yarra River and passed by thousands of motorists every day, has emerged as Melbourne’s most popular tree. Emails received include:
“Dear Tree, If you are that big round beautiful low hanging tree I think you are my favourite tree. Such beauty on such an ugly road. Keep up the good work.”
“Hello dearest elm, Do you remember when I used to drive past you and say hello? Why did they ever trim your canopy? Remember how your branches used to spread across the soil? It was glorious.”
“I used to think you were the Magic Faraway Tree when I was a child. Now that I’m an adult, I still look forward to seeing you as I come around the bend after a tedious crawl down Hoddle Street. A loyal friend always there waiting to say hello.”
At least 70 years old, the elm is listed as a tree of state significance by the National Trust. The tree even sometimes sends replies via The City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest team, such as:
“Dear C, So lovely to be appreciated. I am lucky to be well looked after. Some other people have documented how special I am, which you might like to check out: http://trusttrees.org.au/tree/VIC/South_Yarra/Alexandra_Ave_And_Punt_Road. Best wishes, Your special Elm.”
This email correspondence is proof of just how important urban trees really are, providing joy, friendship, and precious childhood memories.
You can email the golden elm, or any other tree in the City of Melbourne, at the Urban Forest Visual website. Or, learn more about innovative tree solutions helping urban trees to thrive here.