Friday, November 17, 2006

Dear Tree Cutter Downers in Rosebank

I happened to have dinner last night with a bunch of people, one including an evironmental manager. That's what she called herself, so I'm sticking to my story. She submits information to government pertaining to environmental damage done by structures and people, before construction takes place. Apparently you guys, the tree cutter downers in Rosebank, weren't meant to cut those trees down. Government passed a letter by my environmentalist friend stating clearly that you leave the trees out front be.

You're going to get your asses fined one way or another, which is at least gratifying for me, a resident in the area who felt the loss of the palms outside The Zone like I felt the loss of my front tooth after a yukka party in first year when a golf club hit me in the face.

You little fuckers. Rosebank was a lovely, old suburb with trees. The jacarandas are gone for the sake of this sodding train, now the palms? According to my new environmental manager friend, the frog specialists - I jest you not - are as equally fucked off due to your unboundless and blatant ingorance of the eco-system. Do you get a fix chop chop chopping? Even Moogs, after getting drunk on his own white wine reduction last night (He insists it's not gravy or sauce, but the rather pompously refers to it as white wine reduction, poured lovingly over everyone's breasts.... chicken breasts of course) well, even Moogs is upset about this tree purge, resulting in lack thereof. You didn't even give the hippies a chance to get their hemp doondies into a knot.

You guys are going to get fined or be forced to replant the trees. I would've preferred the latter, but since you hacked off the 30-year old trees mid-way and left them as unsightly stumps, sitting forlornly on the the side of Oxford Road, one can only really fine the crap out of you. In the meantime, there's a number I can call to verbally abuse you via telephonic communication, the tone of my dissatisfaction for you, Tree Cutter Downers In Rosebank, will be less than pleasant. Be careful. I'm extremely annoyed and, like today, disappointed in the human race as a whole. Why nobody stopped you to begin with is beyond me.

Fuck you and bring back the trees,
Peas On Toast

PS: Chaps: I've tried to track down the environmentalist for the direct tree-chopping down complaint number, but she seems to be climbing trees elsewhere. (Clearly not Rosebank): So...the best idea is to phone (011) 375 5555 for all city-related complaints, which includes fearless chopping down of perefctly good trees. Will keep you updated.


Champagne Heathen said...

Are you trying to depress me even more on this Thursday morning??

Fck that!!! To know that they weren't even allowed to makes me really angry. We should've tied ourselves to those trees in protests. How utterly completely sad.

They have said they will be planting replacement trees - in Soweto. WTF. What about replanting some in my dear suburb too.

Damn bluddy developers!! Just look at the explosions of complexes in the north to realise how little they care for the overall appearance of an area.

Peas, I don't think they'll get fined. I think they knew they could get away with it. And they have. Oxford is sorry proof of that.

nivek said...

I know 702 (Yes talk radio 702) started a thing to re-plant a lot of the trees affected instead of just killing them. Obviously not the old boys you are talking about - So Yea, "Fuck you and bring back all the trees!!!!"

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - I know babe. It's utterly depressing. And on my hangover, I feel like crying and ranting like a baby this morning. I love Rosebank because of the trees as well - if I wanted development, all I'd need to do is go to Sandton and north. It's a darn shame, and you can bet I'll phone them to extend my dissatisfaction over this whole tree thing. I'm really, really angry.

Nivek - Hi! I hope radio 702 hears and talks about this. It's really got my goat.

Crusoe said...

What's the point of fining them - especially if it's a cash fine. So they pay and then what? Where does the fine money go?

They should receive a 3 part fine:

1) They must replant an equivalent number of trees as the COMBINED age of all the older trees they have already cut down.

2) Then, they should have to apologise to all the residents in the area who derived visual benefit from the trees they have killed.

3) Finally they should have to go fuck themselves in the middle of the street kangeroo court style!

kyknoord said...

Interestingly enough, it's a French-led consortium that's running the whole Gautrain project. You're going to have to deal sternly with these relatives of yours. The response to complaints relating to their blatant disregard of the requirements of the environmental management programme has simply been a Gallic shrug coupled with an attitude of utter contempt.

Peter Barlow said...

You tell em Peas! Damn train, its just a huge waste of money anyway!

On a lighter note, you seem to go to a lot of dinners!

Peas on Toast said...

Crusoe - well said my friend. The fine won't do any of us tree lovers any good. Replant them I say, then maybe we have something.

Kyknoord - wow, this makes me even more mad, because I can only IMAGINE the bureacratic Franco-merde attitude, shrug-style, that this consortium is adopting. As much as I love the French, and my relatives, doing business with them is another story altogether. This is war. Cela est guerre, putains.

Peter - Funny enough, I was one of the few people that plugged the train idea. I thought it was brilliant. Until now. Now I am just pissed by the lack of trees and how they're just hacking them down.
Lol, I do do a few dinners don't I? ;)

Jam said...

Perhaps someone should chop them off at the knees and then see how they feel!
It's like killing old people. You can't just "replace" the damn tress.
And I agree with Champs - at least take them out and then replant them somewhere... but of course, where would they find the cash to do this in that mind boggling Gautrain project?
It just seems that Jozi has no respect for anything - not for trees, old buildings, anything...

Daytripper said...

Did you say there is a number we can call?

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - so true. Everything here seems to be expendable somehow, which is the ultimate pants ever. It's not like they've uprooted the trees, they've just hacked them in half. What's up with this city being so brutal? I'm trying to think of a time Cape Town has done something so hectic in the name of transport...

Peas on Toast said...

Daytripper - will get the number, hang on 10 minutes, let's do it!

3rm said...

are we a bit stretched for subject matter today?

Anonymous said...

Peas I am bloody fucking angry as well!!! my heart sank yesterday when i saw that hte trees were cut down. i live in Melrose and ever morning have this nice fuzzy feeling as to how beautiful the Jacaranda's look. I dont give a shit that they are invasive, who cares. At least they are trees. As for the palms!!! if i can call somewhere to complain please let me know...I am ANGRY!!!!

Anonymous said...

my heart sank on the way home yesterday when i saw that htey cut down the trees. I was proerply angry!!! I live in melrose and every morning i get a warm fuzzy feeling when looking at the beautiful carpet of flowers from the Jacaranda trees. i dont care that they are invasive, at least they are trees! as for the Palm trees!!! if you have a number that i can call to complain please post it. I am fucking angry too! Sounds ridiculous but it was like i could here the trees crying when i saw the stumps...

Peas on Toast said...

3RM - no, you tree-ignoring reprobate! This is serious!

Anon (and Daytripper) - I'm woring on getting the complaints number, will be back in an hour or two with it.

Anonymous said...

sorry didn't realise that the first one was posted...

3rm said...

my bad. i guess their just wasn't that much sex in the city last night to write about

Koekie said...

Loud, I am hearing you.

You said it all - and with such eloquence. Peas for president!

Kate said...

I'm still for the Gautrain. I think we need to seriously upgrade public transport and cut back on the number of commuters in cars, but it only works in conjuction with a functioning and efficient bus system - or, as Peter B said, its a big waste of money. Having said all of that - Peas, I'm with you on the trees.I say Jo'burg people need to get together and demand replanting or fines or both!

3rm said...

peas - dude this is by far and away the most serious this blog has ever been. not a bad thing i might add but clearly rev isn't near a computer

Jam said...

So, Peas, will you be cycling anywhere near the said chopped trees on Sunday?
(evil cackle)

moogs said...

Can't say that I remember much about the tree chopping conversation last night, I was too busy concocting an utterly delicious white wine reduction which goes perfectly with roast chicken, but now that you mention it I'm also a bit miffed. I mean really when will these guys draw the line? And the Gautrain, well enough said, millions of homeless starving South Africans can now catch an underground train to deliver them to their shack in Alex, brilliant!!

Champagne Heathen said...

Moogs - exactly. Improved & cheaper transport is more desperately needed between areas like Orange Farm & Jo'burg CBD, so people that have no money (which means no money for transport!) can get to the CBD continuously to look for work, to sort out their id documents to be legally employed, to get to clinics to be healthy enough to work etc.

There are enough shuttles & taxis to the airport for the R200 price to be reasonable to add onto your R1000 plane ticket. That transport route IS NOT a priority in this city!

tBerry said...

Fuck them tree killing mofos!
I'm not even a tree-hugger and this just pisses me off.
Yet another example of how short-sited and up their own arse our bureacracy has become.
They've probably never heard of global warming...

Revolving Credit said...

OK, 3rd Moon Rock, I'm here but I'm not going to lighten the conversation just yet.

Tell me, has anybody thought about spiking any of these trees yet?

For those who don't know, this is a tactic employed by environmental activists. It may become quite deadly to the tree fellers, but when you're trying to save the Amazon, well...

What you do is drive multiple long metal spikes into the trees. When the loggers attempt to fell or cut the logs at a mill, the metal spikes often destroy the chainsaw or cutting mill blade. These may of course explode at high speed and anyone caught in the way may be in for a nasty surprise.

3rm said...

rev - a sly and cunning plan although i'm not sure the innocent bystanders passing along the road will feel the same after they're eviscerated by bits of power tool schrapnel

Champagne Heathen said...

How do we get these metal spikes into the trees? Especially unnoticed. Oxford road is slightly less densely foliated than the amazon.

Peas on Toast said...

Hi guys. I'm back. After fetching my 94.7 goodie bag. But let's not go there.

Moogs - your white wine reduction was brilliant. And yes, I agree: who is going to take a train to their shack in Alex?

Rev - hi my boy. I like the idea of flying shrapnel. Love it.

3rd Moon Rock - No. No Sex In The City last night.

Guys,I've tried to track down the environmentalist for the direct number, but she seems to be climbing trees somewhere. (Clearly not Rosebank): So...the best idea is to phone (011) 375 5555 for all city-related complaints. Will keep you updated.

Daedalus said...

I am with you on this one Ertjie, I cannot stand people that harm trees.

Peas on Toast said...

D-Guy - I really didn't realise how put out and defensive over trees I was until now. I love trees, though. I am officially a huge tree hugger. A hippie if you will. I'm most upset at how bare Rosebank looks these days... :(

Jam said...

I come on Peas. Talk about that goodie bag. Tell us what's in your survival kit.

bobajob said...

good luck with 375 55 55 - you need it!

What about gautrain website - should have link to bombela.

so where can we get some cheap firewood for upcoming December braais?

Peas on Toast said...

Sorry Jam, can't resist: I come on Peas. Rev, you're missing out on some seeriooous ac here my boy! ;) Lol.
My survival kit has:
eight snacky energy bar thingies
a water bottle
two health magazines
bath tonic
arnica oil
a razor
carton of ice tea
two sachets Jungle Oats
Lip Ice

cool eh? ;)

Bobajob - You can collect your firewood on the side of Oxford Road. Just gooi them a unch as you do it.

Revolving Credit said...


Revolvo News Network can confirm that the once leafy suburb of Rosebank has been devastated by Hurricane CutTreeNa.
This storm has cut a swathe of destruction from Rosebank to Sandton, uprooting and snapping off trees and foliage in it path. This has resulted in enormous traffic disruptions.

The primary cause appears to have been a massive deluge of gaut-rain which continues to engulf this once trendy suburb, leaving in its path a landscape devoid of plant life.

Our correspondent in the field, Ms Mushy Trees Are Toast has reported that The Zone of Rosebank has been declared an Environmental Disaster Zone.

Emergency Horticultural Services are converging on this location, but it is feared that massive loss of plant life has already occurred.

The Metro Council has denied rumours that it is considering changing the name of this suburb to Rootbank, as that is all that remains of its once proud timber citizenry.

In related news, there appears to be a sudden shortage of plastic Christmas trees as the Gautrain Meteorological Service, responsible for early warning, forecasting and environmental protection, have attempted to mask the full visible impact of the hurricane by deploying these plastic replacement at key intersection.
This has resulted in a thriving pre-festive season business as budding roadside traders have taken this opportunity to sell Xmas trees at bargain basement prices.

The MEC's office could not be reached for comment at this time as they are believed to be attending a strategic lunch at Auberge Michel restaurant in Sandton.

Revolvo C Revolvo - Sapa

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - I want to marry you. Can we get married? I'll get down on one knee and everything.

You're a genius. And genii turn me on.
You also have a healthy and perverse libido, and you drive a Beemer - which at first didn't do much for me - but eventually I'd convince you to trade it in for an Audi, due to the horniness that ensues when I drive those machines. (And you'll be on the recieving end of said horniness.)

I don't care where we get married, as long it isn't at a wedding venue in Muldersdrift. Vegas sounds nice this time of year?

Jam said...

LOL Peas. ;-(

Is the razor for half way through the race when you've had enough?

(and that just SAILED over Rev's head - I didn't think it was possible...bloody typos)

Revolving Credit said...

Jam, didn't sail anywhere, just hadn't read it yet.

I know you and Champs were pulling some lesbian action but this 3some with Peas may be interesting.
And if want talk to/about, pay lipservice to her 'Goodie Bag', thats just grand.

I suspect that the razor is for those who feel the dire need, half way thru the race, to shave their legss.

Revolving Credit said...

Peas - Muldersdrift???

Is that anything like Kilpdrift?

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - unfortuantely the razor is one of those piffly Schick Intuition jobs, but I mayfeel the need to stop on the road for a gin and tonic, a smoke and a little shave. :)

Rev - vaguely. Personally, I'm stuck on Vegas baby.

Revolving Credit said...

Do I spot a hint of an Elvis fetish?

Peas on Toast said...

Mais non. I think you and I could make a good duo when we rob the Bellagio casino.

It would be the ultimate ending to a great day.

Champagne Heathen said...

Yo Rev - you can't just go saying things like 'threesome' & 'lesbian' in such a public forum. Some people might get the wrong idea about what the actual situation is and all!!

Gawd, how I wish Muldersdrift had more Klipdrift in it. One of my previous jobs would have been slightly more bearable!

Now I am off to buy shares in the plastic tree industry. It seems they are about to become abundant in certain once-real suburbs.

Revolving Credit said...

Sorry Champs

replace(post,'3some','Ménage a trios')

replace(post,'lesbian','Tongue Buddy')

Revolving Credit said...

Peas - you've seem a pre-release version of Casino Royale, haven't you.

Revolving Credit said...

Shit, did I just say 'a pre-release version of Casino Royale'

Is that when you cum after the movie?

(hahaha...laughing at myself)

Peas on Toast said...

Sadly no Rev. Just feel like getting rich quick and being naughty about it. Keen?

(And know any trusty croupiers?) ;)

Champagne Heathen said...

Isn't it if you cum before??

Good to see you're entertaining yourself in here Rev!

MEANWHILE, Rev & Jam, if my future shag life has to require a strap-on because these dodgy jokes turn to rumours turn to "totally true story dude", I am laying complete blame on you & you will seriously become my HETEROSEXUAL- (fine,a bit of BI- as well) pimps, commission-free!

Revolving Credit said...

'become my HETEROSEXUAL- (fine,a bit of BI- as well) pimps'

Do you mean WE are Heterosexual and we get to sell your ass?

I'll see if I can find any Bi-ers.

Revolving Credit said...

Peas - some casino floor action?

Seems like someones wanting to play a bit of one-arm-bandit.

Drop something in the old slot machine.

Peas on Toast said...

Let's play one arm bandit big guy. You and me, the slots. As long as we hit the jackpot.

Revolving Credit said...

See how that 'no sex' tension is starting to manifest itself.

(note to self..may need to write another cherry story...maybe we'll try kiwi fruit)

Peas on Toast said...

Do it! Yay! Sex lit to remember before I got to sleep tonight! :)

Revolving Credit said...

Slightly silky to the touch, the texture of the this little nub of sweetness was furry yet firm to the touch, with just a hint of fragrant nectar.
My fingers gently prod its outer flesh seeking a softer seam where I may plunge into its inter sanctum, release it pungent aroma, while my tongue lashes its inner recess driving its syrup of life into my mouth, running down my lips and lingering on my chin before streaming down my chest in my frenzy of suckling.
I devour it roughly, with complete disregard for it glazed pulp which oozes across my entire face. The kiwi surrenders it last droplets of ecstasy as I lick my lips in joyous satisfaction.

Revolving Credit said...

Was a bit rush this time, lacks a bit of finess. too rushed.

Champagne Heathen said...

In Peas' absence by this hour, I feel some chick should comment about this at least. Unfortunately, it can't be me, as I don't read such comments out of slight fear.

But "Good Job" Rev!! Pat pat. gotta comment...

Peas on Toast said...

Rev, as usual I love it! :)

You get to choose the honeymoon now, since you've made me horny for kiwi fruit...

It is the question said...

Hello Peas

I posted on this sometime last year after the arseholes cut down all the trees near the World of Golf - now a near desert surrounds the new Nashua building.

Does Jo'burg have a visionary?

I've spent a lot of time in New York. When visiting Manhattan, it is impossible not to be impressed by Central Park. The incredible vision required to set aside a park of this scale on an island desperate for space has to be admired.

In Johannesburg, our "Central Park" is perhaps the trees that shade our city. Six million trees make Johannesburg the largest man-made urban forest in the world.

I've gathered the following quotes from the rather excellent Johannesburg website from an article detailing the history of Johannesburg's trees.

Before gold was discovered in the area in 1886, there were several farmers on the Witwatersrand. These early farmers brought seeds from the Cape and planted acorn, oak and walnut trees. The Bezuidenhout family, among the first white settlers in the area, built their farmhouse in 1863 on the farm Doornfontein. They planted fruit trees in Judith's Paarl and Cyrildene, east of the city centre, but they no longer exist.

On the other side of town was the farm Braamfontein, owned by the Geldenhuys family. Louw Geldenhuys built his farmhouse against the Melville Koppies ridge, and his wife, Emmarentia, planted an oak tree and five palm trees in front of the house. These trees still exist, as does the house, gracing the suburb in an old-world splendour.

When the suburb of Emmarentia was laid out in 1937 the town planners wanted to cut down the oak tree as it was in the path of the road being laid out. But Emmarentia put her foot down - the oak was to stay. The tree is now on the pavement, the road kinking around it slightly.

By 1904 a parks department had been established, and by that time the city had four major parks: Joubert Park (17.5 acres), End Street Park in Doornfontein (4.5 acres), Oval Park in Parktown (3.5 acres) and Jeppe Park (2.5 acres).

By 1934 the number of parks had increased to 67, and there was an active tree-planting policy by the council, with 8 000 trees being planted each year.

Over a million trees were planted in the present-day Zoo Lake and the Johannesburg Zoo areas, in what was called Sachsenwald (later Anglicised to Saxonwold and now a suburb of Johannesburg), an area of 1 300 acres. They were blue and red gum trees, quick-growing and ideal for use as mine props. Oaks, pines and wattles were also planted. Picnic spots with benches were created in the forest, and it became a favourite picnic and riding area for Randlords and their families in nearby Parktown.

Remnants of the forest can still be seen in the zoo and in the parkland around Zoo Lake. Suburbs in the area reflect this history in their names: Forest Town, Parkview and Parktown.

Tree entrepreneur William Nelson, according to Smith, had nurseries in Turffontein, where "by 1896 he grew some 30 million trees, shrubs and plants for general distribution". His business was known as Nelsonia Nurseries. He apparently planted "66 miles (106km) of trees along the streets of the newly established suburb of Kensington". The task took six months to complete. She says it's believed to be the first time street trees were planted in South Africa on such a large scale.

Read the full article, together with the one detailing the census performed to arrive at the figure of six million.

Now you might be wondering where this is heading - what's the question?

Well I believe Johannesburg's heritage is under threat. Recently a billboard company cut down 68 trees to allow better sighting of their advertisements. This made the news and the resultant cost borne by the city to replace the trees (R700 for a sapling - the original mature trees would have been worth over R9000).

This weekend I drove to the World of Golf - a fantastic golf practice facility for driving, putting, chipping and putting, etc. The road linking Woodmead Drive with the K101 leads to the World of Golf entrance. It was an avenue lined on both sides for over a kilometer with tall pine trees - probably each about 15 to 20 meters high. Pine trees are a disputed asset in South Africa. They are thirsty aliens in a dry land. But these lined an otherwise dry unoccupied area and survive on Johannesburg's abundant summer rains. They are now almost all gone to make way for an office development - Woodmead North. The office development is on land situated behind where the pines lined the road. The trees would have provided a feature to its entrance.

This is a happening that it being repeated through Johannesburg as urban densification takes place. Densification is in fact a strategy promoted by Johannesburg's local government to deal with the new Sandton CBD's effect on transport systems and access by poorer communities. Take a drive through possibly South Africa's richest suburb, Sandhurst. It is made up of estates that border the Sandton CBD. It is a magnificent area and populated by beautiful trees. A key landmark is the estate bordering Sandton Drive - a veritable forest. It is now being developed by Investec with high density housing. The rest of Sandhurst is rapidly being subdivided as landowners scramble to make the most of a buoyant property market.

This destruction of beauty is not unique to Johannesburg. I often run on the mountain in Cape Town and all along the borders of Newlands Forest, suburbs are creeping ever higher - most notably on the eastern boundary shared with Kirstenbosch. New houses cling to the slopes at heights that take a good half an hour to reach on foot.

South Africa's cities need some visionaries who put a foot down against the destruction of natural beauty. Frankly, they need a few people like the William Nelson mentioned above.