Not sticking

A PUSH to green up Fremantle with a big planting program has hit a glitch after delays and poor technique led to a higher than usual death rate.

Hilton resident Vicky Gillett was one of the first to point out the creep of brown across her suburb to the Chook, saying she was surprised the City had been planting so late into spring.

“I have always followed the advice that in WA… the best time to plant is in autumn of early winter,” Ms Gillett said.

“Much to my (and I know many others’) dismay, I’m watching many, many of these trees dying.”

Ms Gillett said at least 20 in Hilton were looking pretty withered.

• Timing and technique: A lot of this year’s plantings in Freo have turned brown.

“One morning I was walking through Hilton and noticed about five trees looking extremely stressed, their leaves were wilting, though still green.”

Ms Gillett said she rang the city’s parks department and was told someone would water them as soon as possible, but if they did it was too late for four, which have subsequently died. (See her letter on page 4)

Chook advertising representative and South Fremantle precinct co-convenor Gina Blakemore also noticed many of the grasses that had been planted along Marine Terrace had disappeared.

Initially she thought they might have been stolen, but it turned out to be a combination of a late-spring planting and poor technique.

Freo council’s parks and landscape manager Ryan Abbott said after the annual planting program the City was monitoring a number of plants in Samson and Marine Terrace.

“The program, originally scheduled for winter, was delayed until spring due to delays in finding a contractor to undertake the work,” Mr Abbott said.

“This has resulted in the watering program, which was included in the contract, being amended to accommodate the later planting and the warmer than usual weather in early spring.

“Additionally, some of the planting by the contractor was not accepted by the City, duets issues associated with the way the plants were planted which is also affecting the survival outcomes.

“The contractor has committed to rectifying this issue next winter at no cost to the City.”


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