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JCPZ defends tree policies

CRAIGHALL – Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) has responded to the statement from the Borer Action Group (Bag) concerning their National Arbor City Award.

 


Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) has responded to the statement from the Borer Action Group (Bag) concerning their National Arbor City Award stating that their actions are irresponsible and self-serving.

Read Bag’s statement here 

General manager for stakeholder and public relations at JCPZ Jenny Moodley said JCPZ remains steadfast in its mandate to protect Joburg’s manmade forest.

“Calls by various tree felling service providers led by Bag and JUFA [Johannesburg Urban Forest Alliance] to remove PSHB infested trees that are displaying no symptoms of Fusarium Dieback (FD) are irresponsible and self-serving. Wide-scale tree eradication in the most densely forested part of Joburg could impact negatively on microclimatic conditions and could trigger an ecological disaster in the City,” said Moodley.

“Trees are generally very resilient and most tree species that are affected or infested by PSHB are yet to display symptoms of FD. More importantly is the fact that these trees have come out of the dormant winter season bursting with new healthy leaves and shoots and are simply serving their basic purpose of acting as natural filters to regulate temperature, wind speed and humidity.”

Moodley said JCPZ has removed 184 dead trees thus far and reports indicate that 3 359 trees are infested but are displaying no symptoms of dieback warranting removal.

Moodley said that tree felling companies are placing undue pressure on the City to provide solarisation sites to dispose of infested wood from private spaces. She explained that sites need to be identified and cleared by a proper Environmental Impact Assessment and must be close to eight of the impacted wards in order to contain the spread.

“JCPZ has no mandate to utilise public resources to help in the management of pest control in private households.”

She added that JCPZ is thankful that the adjudicators (for the Arbor City Award) visited all cities to scrutinise the work they were doing on the ground before awarding JCPZ the award. Moodley said that this was in the face of negative sentiment led by JUFA and in the absence of an approved chemical solution or concrete research to tackle PSHB.

“JCPZ would like to appeal to every resident that instead of removing trees that are dead, let’s plant more trees,” said Moodley, adding the Joburg has an ageing tree canopy which is prone to opportunistic disease that is reaching its full life expectancy.

She explained that the R300 000 prize money will be used to replace trees lost and grow the tree canopy for the benefit of all.

Residents with any PSHB complaints are encouraged to email trees@jhbcityparks.com or call 011 375 5555.

Related articles:

Joburg scoops prestigious National Arbor City Award

City Parks plants 40 new trees in Buckingham Avenue, Craighall Park

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