Integral Energy, our local electricity supplier, and one which the last NSW Premier and Treasurer wanted to sell off, has come through and pruned trees along Missingham Parade. And then, yesterday morning, shortly after 7:00am, they were knocking on my front door, to advise me that they were going to prune some trees on my block. This is part of their planning for a forthcoming hot and windy season. Sounds fair enough to me. I know that the line across my paddock feeds down to rural property along Belmore Falls Road, down in the valley below my place.
I have shown photos of these plants when they were first planted by Zoe and myself on 17 May 2004 (Click here to see Zoe celebrating having planted plants in the otherwise bare paddock). These plants have been pruned 3 times since they were first planted. Once to "top them" to reduce their direct vertical leaders, and make them bush out (when they were young saplings). Then in July 2007, my friend Peter came with his chain saw to knock them back - because I could see they were growing too tall, under the powerlines (when just 3 years old). Now, a year later, the Integral Energy guys gave them a real "Boy Prune", as the phrase is.
I last wrote about these trees under the heading Green and Gold, back on 11 August, as they were just coming into flower.
I originally anticipated that these plants would grow quickly (not as quickly as they have done) - and act as a temporary screen and wind break, while other plants established themselves, down in the paddock below the house. Wind is the issue down there - it is very exposed to southerly winds.The reality is that the Wattles have jumped out of the ground, but other plants have been less successful. So I will keep on cutting their heads off, and hope that other self-sown seedlings of plants like Pittosporum and Sassafras do establish themselves under the shelter of these trees.
One Wattle which has grown reasonably well is this small shrub of Acacia fimbriata "compact form". The true species grows in a much more open manner. This one will never pose a problem for the power lines. Nor will the few Camellias which are growing down there.I mentioned recently, when writing about the leaves and phyllodes of Blackwood Wattles, that mature Blackwood Wattles eventually form an open crown. This is what I meant. Most of the Blackwoods on my place are young plants (regrowth) and have not reached that stage - and still have dense crowns.
And, here is a surprise visitor - a Willy Wagtail - which was on the fence while I was taking the other photos, late in the afternoon. Lousy light, but it is the first time I have ever seen a Willy Wagtail at my place (it is definitely not a rainforest bird) - so I was not going to miss the chance to try and get a photo. Sorry, but it was the best I could manage - the bird was a bit nervous of my presence.