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Talking Trees with City of Marion Arborist, Ian  Seccafien

Ian Seccafien has grown his career as an active and passionate Arborist, currently working with the City of Marion to oversee the management and increase of our urban forest, which has lead the establishment of the Regulated Tree Maintenance Fund. We sat in the cool shade with Ian to talk trees and chat climate during his favourite time of the year – Spring.

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City of Marion Arborist, Ian Seccafien

Q: Ian, first off, let’s break the ice. Favourite plant/flower/tree? 

Ian: Hi! See, that’s such a hard question, I get to work with beautiful trees every single day with the City of Marion, but if I had to choose a favourite, it’d be the English Oak, Quercus robur which is the tree that got me interested in Arboriculture as a kid, I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and wanted my own oak tree to have adventures in.

The Magic Faraway Tree

Image: Wikipedia

Q: That’s a beautiful choice! We won’t get you to make any hard decisions from here on out – that being said… what’s the best way to prepare our yards for Spring? 

Ian: We’re pretty lucky to be living in this amazing sunny slice of Adelaide. With the City of Marion usually getting a bit of a breeze from the coast, it makes for perfect weekends to tend to our gardens.  Now is the perfect time to get out in the garden, I would focus on

  • Removing those pesky weeds and tidying up overgrown grass especially heading into the fire season where overgrown grass can be a hazard
  • Fertilising all your plants and roses, they all love a feed coming out of a cold winter
  • Mulch your gardens in preparation for summer, good quality mulch can reduce water usage and moisture loss by 40%
  • Join your local community garden – and use the knowledge of the community to build your garden at home
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Trott Park Community Garden

Q: These are great tips – especially taking fire season into consideration. As you’re a City of Marion green thumb expert, what resources are available to residents that you think they should know about? 

Ian: We have a huge array of resources available for our residents, many of which would be great to add onto your list to make the most of especially when the holiday break hits.

  • Our website has a page dedicated to trees in the environment section. This includes our Tree Interactive which shows all of our existing trees in Marion and the future planting and management programs we are undertaking.
  • Did you know there’s actually a home composting rebate scheme? Residents can get a 50% rebate on composting products. Don’t know where to start with composting? There are home composting workshops being ran by the City of Marion so you can scrub up on everything you need to know.
  • One of my pet projects has been the Regulated Tree Maintenance Fund, which covers 50% of maintenance costs for large, significant trees to assist in caring for them.

Q: Can you tell us more about the Regulated Tree Maintenance Fund and why it was created? 

Ian:  A key action of our Tree Management Framework was to come up with ways we could influence the retention of big trees on private property. Taking an idea that Burnside Council had developed and recognising that our council has so many Regulated/Significant trees located on private property, I thought it would be a great way we can assist residents to look after these trees.

We certainly understand the challenges residents face to look after these magnificent trees and maintaining them does not come cheap. These trees offer a range of benefits to the community, support a diverse range of wildlife, provide a connection to our history and contribute to the character of our neighbourhoods. 

The grants program recognises that there is much community interest in preserving these trees and therefore, provides financial assistance to enable this. The fund covers the following

  • Arborist report, when works are subsequently undertaken on the tree
  • Tree Pruning
  • Pest and Disease Control

You can read more about the guidelines and apply for the grant on the funds webpage.

Big tree

A significant tree on a private property

Interested in finding out more?

You can learn more about the environmental services we offer by visiting our services page or connecting directly with the City of Marion.