Row over tree chop

Bassendean Town Council is threatening to take legal action over the cutting back of a flooded gum tree without consultation.
Bassendean Town Council is threatening to take legal action over the cutting back of a flooded gum tree without consultation.

Town Mayor John Gangell said Foundation Housing ” the organisation that leases the property adjacent to the tree from the Department of Housing ” had been informed of the seriousness of the situation.

A Foundation Housing spokeswoman said it understood the tree was situated in the boundary of the property, which is leased from the Department of Housing.

‘Therefore, we understood responsibility lay with Foundation Housing to maintain it,’ she said.

‘Foundation Housing was not aware of any dispute regarding ownership of this tree or that the tree was listed on the Significant Tree List.

‘The tree in question has been monitored in recent years by Foundation Housing as termite activity was found in it.’

It also recently had two large branches broken off, she said.

Cr Gangell said the Town engaged an arborist to assess the tree and to provide a report on what remedial pruning may be required to rehabilitate it.

He said the town might seek legal advice about potential prosecution options.

Bassendean resident Carol Seidel said the cutting of the tree was an act of vandalism and highlights the need for public education about trees.

The Foundation Housing spokeswoman said a representative of Jim’s Trees advised that although the tree would look bare for a while it would continue to grow and reproduce a new canopy and live for many years to come.

‘The reasoning behind actioning this pruning was to prevent any potential damage to the property but, more importantly, we were concerned for the safety of our staff, tenants and members of the public should more large branches fall,’ she said.