The City of Melbourne is encouraging its citizens to build relationships with popular trees, by assigning email addresses to choice specimens in a bid to foster a sense of community ownership.
Officials began their unconventional initiative in 2013 by assigning unique ID numbers and email addresses, initially as a route for reporting dangerous branches on prominent trees, enabling passers-by to communicate with their favourite lumps of wood at all hours of the day.
Rather than this mere prosaic approach many citizens have pursued an altogether more poetic relationship with the flora with many people penning love letters direct to the trees.
Describing the ‘unintended but positive consequences’ Melbourne’s environment portfolio, councillor Arron Wood said: “The email interactions reveal the love Melburnians have for our trees.”
Melbourne’s trees are even acquiring a global fan base with one venerable American plant writing: “My name is Quercus Alba. Y’all can call me Al. I’m about 350 years old and live on a small farm in N.E. Mississippi, USA. I’m about 80 feet tall, with a trunk girth of about 16 feet. I don't travel much (actually haven't moved since I was an acorn). I just stand around and provide a perch for local birds and squirrels.”