Removal always last resort: council

The fig tree destined for removal .
The fig tree destined for removal .

After community outrage at the decision to remove two mature eucalypts from Lathlain Place last month, Temple Street resident Michelle Hazelwood said the disappointing decision showed the Town continued to demonstrate an ‘easy way out’ and an ‘environmentally disrespectful attitude in managing our landscape’.

‘The health benefits and raised property value provided by mature trees are unquestionable. I cannot comprehend how the removal of more mature further trees can be justified as beneficial to the properties or community,’ Ms Hazelwood said.

But the Town’s acting Renew Life director, Warren Bow, said its street tree removal policy was to retain trees and that removal was a last resort.

He said each request for tree removal was assessed on an individual basis in accordance with the policy and no other mature trees were scheduled for removal.

‘Council received a complaint from a resident regarding damage the tree was causing to both private and public infrastructure,’ Mr Bow said.

‘Council officers inspected the tree and surrounds and deemed it necessary to seek approval for removal as per the Town’s policy.’

He said the fig tree would not be removed until a family of chicks being raised in the tree had left the nest.

‘The Town is consulting a local wildlife centre to ensure the nesting habits of a local bird in the tree is not disturbed until the chicks have matured and left the nest. Until there is confirmation that the bird and its chicks have moved on, the tree will not be removed,’ he said.

Between June 2008-2011 the Town inspected and documented every street tree with each added to a frequently updated database.

‘There are more than 15,000 verge trees that require managing and every tree removed is replaced, if not at the same location, then somewhere more appropriate. A decision is made at the time a tree is removed on a suitable replacement species,’ he said.