In mid 2003 a site inspection was carried out by Brad Staggs (Wollondilly Council), Chris Betteridge (Wollondilly Heritage Advisor) and Trevor Eirth (St James) with the object of replacing some of the driveway trees (Eucalypts). Prior to this 5 trees were removed because of safety reasons.
It was agreed that most of the trees of various types (refer fig. 1) could be replaced providing a full Development Application was submitted to Wollondilly Shire Council.
It was agreed the replacement trees could be either Italian Cyprus, the same as those existing or Cape Chestnut, which is a local streetscape heritage tree. It was stipulated that we should retain five (5) of the existing Italian Cyprus trees.
Much investigation work was carried out over a period of 18 months to try and establish the variety of Italian Cyprus without real success. In the meantime a driveway congregation member noticed that some of the seeds that had fallen on the ground from the existing trees were starting to grow. From this beginning another driveway member (David Horn) who is a keen gardener took up the challenge and grew some 25 trees from seeds picked up on the driveway.
With input from Wollondilly Council it was decided we could remove some 10 dead, dying or dangerous trees from the driveway and this allowed us to plant some 20 trees in spring 2006.
As these trees develop further dead, dying or dangerous trees will gradually be culled so that eventually we will have a driveway lined with Cape Chestnut and Italian Cyprus trees.
Subsequently it was established that the Italian Cyprus variety is Cupressus Sempervirens, the same as those at St John’s, Camden.