BAYSWATER Council changed its tree management guidelines at last month’s council meeting and has given ratepayers the power to request to prune trees that have outgrown over their property.
The council voted for the pruning of trees under powerlines (flat top the tree and prune all sides of the tree, inclusive of uplifting to a height of 2.5m) except when residents requested to leave the tree or when part of the canopy cannot be pruned due to size or boundary walls.
The decision would also see the City’s consultant arborist determine whether tree pruning could be undertaken under solar panels.
Councillor Dan Bull said residents who were concerned with tree pruning should be able to opt in or out of pruning.
Cr Chris Cornish said the guidelines would solve and fix unintended consequences caused by a 2014 motion for arborists reports to be considered by Council.
“I do not want to see anymore arborist reports from external companies telling me the tree is healthy or dead,” he said.
“We put the money in the budget for a consulting arborist, we no long need to get those other reports.
“I think the community who have spoken to him are quite confident in his abilities and I am as well.”
According to an officer’s report, Council’s decision would increase ratepayers’ satisfaction, have clear guidelines for tree pruning and removal and reduced costs to arborist’s assessments, which cost the City about $500 each.
The report said over time, components of previous motions resulted in potentially hazardous situations to the public and to tree health.
The City serviced about 11,000 street trees located under or in the vicinity of powerlines and received more than 1200 requests for pruning and removal of trees every year with many and varied reasons for these requests being made by residents.