Trees issue rages on

The fig trees opposite the houses in Madeley.
The fig trees opposite the houses in Madeley.

The original decision to remove the trees in June faced strong opposition from the Madeley and surrounding community after more than 1500 residents signed a petition to save them.

At the August council meeting, residents and councillors argued for and against rescinding the decision before the Council voted in favour of their preservation.

The decision also included works to remove dead wood and damaged branches to address public safety concerns.

Since then, residents at the forefront of a petition against the trees have submitted 42 questions to the City concerning maintenance, repair of alleged property damage from tree roots and risk to public safety.

Original petitioner Iris Syred, who has addressed the council chambers with 17 questions, asked at the February meeting why residents had to �put up with� plant litter from the trees.

�There are huge cracks in my driveway caused by the roots of the trees which are nearly 100ft high and their roots will go 100ft along,� she said.

�The height of the trees need to be addressed as all their leaves drop onto the roofs and residents have to be constantly cleaning the gutters.�

Then infrastructure acting director Harminder Singh said an inspection of the trees was due that month.

�The City conducts path and street sweeping along this section of Russell Road where the trees are located on a weekly basis every Wednesday,� Mr Singh said in a later report.

The report said residents could pursue a claim against the City if they considered it at fault for damage. �Additional sweeping is conducted after severe weather events to remove leaf litter,� Mr Singh said.

More recently, Mrs Syred said at the March council meeting that houses opposite the trees could not get TV reception �due to the dense canopy of the trees� and asked when the City intended to �put this right�. Mr Singh said the City was �not responsible for TV signal strengths to private properties�.

Anne McMurdo, who has tabled 11 questions since October, also said at the last meeting the trees blocked light and asked for their removal.

�We, the residents in close proximity of the trees, have presented information that demonstrates the trees are a risk, have invasive root systems that damage public infrastructure, have high water consumption and are expensive to maintain,� she said.

�The tentative repairs to the root repairs are already failing.�

Mr Singh took the question on notice.