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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Campaigning for Street Trees, Sydney Botanic Gardens, 1890s-1920s

Jodi Frawley

Environment and History 15 (2009): 303-322. doi: 10.3197/096734009X12474738131074

Between the 1890s and 1920s street trees became a more prominent feature in streetscapes across New South Wales, Australia. The Sydney Botanic Gardens, with their extensive nursery system, were responsible for supplying seedlings to councils and municipalities for use as street trees. As such, this institution was a primary mover of what a street tree should be, how they should be used and what plants were best suited to this particular use in urban environments. This paper analyses the nurturing of this use of street trees by the Sydney Botanic Gardens and the Director Joseph Maiden. This institution was a place that moved not just stock and seedlings, but ideas about how nature's inclusion into urban environments had the capacity to influence and enhance the cultivation of civilised citizens. This was affected through access to transnational resources available to the Sydney Botanic Gardens.

KEYWORDS: Street trees, urban planning, Sydney Botanic Gardens, Joseph Maiden, trans-national networks


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