THE leaves may be turning brown and falling, but it’s not an early autumn….
Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens have been undertaking a program to save plants and director Richard Barley said they were in reasonable condition, but he is concerned about the long-term prospects for Melbourne’s established street trees such as planes and elms. “Dropping their leaves is a normal reaction for trees in these circumstances. They have been hit by the two factors of the extended dry and the extraordinary hot air temperatures of last week.
“If we had cooler, wetter conditions to the end of April it is possible they could grow back some of their foliage, but if these conditions continue over the next two or three years, it will put them under enormous stress and it is likely a lot of them will die.”