Temple Street, Stanmore gum tree

Council proposed to remove a magnificent gum tree from Temple Street, Stanmore.  The tree is healthy and well formed, but has dropped the occasional branch in the past.

We do not such a healthy tree should be removed and we are moving the following notice of motion at the upcoming Council meeting on Tuesday 20 November

Notice of Motion

Councillor Phillips

Street tree outside 16 Temple Street Stanmore

Motion: That Council monitor the Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) street tree outside 16 Temple Street for 12 months and then review the decision for removal.

Background:

Recently Council officers have recommended for removal a large Lemon Scented Gum on Temple Street Stanmore.  The tree is in a healthy condition, however, there have been complaints about branches falling.

Since the notification was listed,  numerous residents have objected to the plans for removal.  One such objection states:

“I find it very alarming that council would consider taking down this tree. It is an important tree because of its height & species. It is important because there are so few tall trees on this street. These trees are gradually disappearing from our streets and this weakens our already challenged tree canopy.”

The tree is a significant and beautiful tree, making an exceptional contribution to the streetscape.  The proposed replacement tree is a small, slow growing species.

Advice from the Council officers includes:

“An inspection of the tree by myself, and comprehensive independent assessment by Dennis Marsden on the 3 September 2012, found the tree to be in acceptable health and no obvious structural defects were recorded at the time of inspection. The mode of branch failures was attributed to the tree being an individual with a greater propensity for branch failure under windy conditions than most typical trees. The independent arborist concludes that the level of risk associated with this tree cannot be anticipated and is impractical to effectively maintain.”

Thus Council is proposing to remove a well-formed, healthy and substantial tree, because of a complaint about previous branch failures.

There are many other large eucalyptus that could be removed on the same grounds as this tree.  If you look around the local area, it is often a larger eucalyptus that will be the largest tree in the area and provides the greatest contribution to the canopy,  aesthetic and the Australian character of neighbourhoods.

Other areas of Sydney and Australia have a much larger number of eucalyptus trees than Marrickville.  Living with gum trees is part of the Australian experience.

To remove a healthy, well-formed tree on these grounds will not only be a considerable loss to the local community, but sets a bad precedent for Council’s approach to other large street trees.

We live in an organic world and trees are big part of this world.  They enrich our lives in many different ways.  Many people regard trees as a substantial asset.  It would be a  considerable disservice to the community to start to remove healthy, well-formed trees because of some potential future liability.

Council maintains footpaths, roads, drains, sporting fields, playground equipment, buildings, childcare centres and many other things that may have potential future liability.  We do not remove these assets from the public domain because of potential future liability.  Neither should we remove this tree unless a it is of poor health or structure.

If there are further failures of the tree within the 12 month trial period, or a re-assessment finds the tree in poor health or bad structure, then removal may be necessary.

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