Myaree man fears gum tree could collapse despite reassurances from City of Melville


Charles Thorn and the tree at the front of his unit. Picture: Will Russell
Charles Thorn and the tree at the front of his unit. Picture: Will Russell

CHARLES Thorn (95) fears a gum tree next to his Myaree unit could cause a traffic or pedestrian accident if a limb fell or the whole tree collapsed.

Mr Thorn has lived in the Cottrill Street unit since 1994 and said the tree’s lean has worsened each year.

It now overhangs the footpath and road and has several splits in the surface of the trunk.

But Mr Thorn maintains he has had no response from council despite four letters and phones calls made in the past year, and the last phone call made about two weeks ago.

The City of Melville said they inspected the on May 4 and July 4 last year, January 4 this year, and most recently the day after the Melville Times filed questions last Wednesday.

The tree is a Eucalyptus camaldulensis or River Red gum, among the many eucalypts that have the ominous nickname of ‘widow maker’ because they have a habit of dropping large boughs without warning.

City chief executive Shayne Silcox confirmed the City had a record of Mr Thorn’s concerns.

City staff assessed the tree, and an independent arborist will inspect the tree in the near future to help alleviate the residents’ concerns, Dr Silcox said.

“The tree Mr Thorn refers to has been assessed by suitably qualified Parks and Environment staff and found to be in good health and fair structural condition, displaying a healthy canopy cover and predominately sound branch structures,” Dr Silcox said.

“The tree is not considered hazardous at this point in time.”