There is a new street tree up for removal. It is another Hills Fig (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii), this time at 10 Cambridge Street Enmore, but on the Cavendish Street frontage.

Marrickville Council gives the following as reasons for removal:

  • Repeated regular root interference with drainage lines of private residence that cannot be rectified without significant structural demolition. The installation of root barrier at the property boundary is not a viable management option due to the proximity to the critical root zone of the tree. Pruning of roots this close to the tree would almost certainly compromise its structural integrity & present an unacceptable risk of tree failure.

  • Displacement to rear courtyard paving of private residence by roots of the subject tree. Rectification would be required every 3-5 years due to vigorous root regrowth & is therefore not considered a viable long term management solution.

  • Displacement of masonry boundary wall likely to have been caused by roots of the subject tree. The cost to Council of further investigations to confirm & rectify structural impacts on the boundary wall are not considered to be valid.

  • Significant repeated damage to council’s footpath infrastructure by roots of the subject tree.

Hills Fig up for removal at 10 Cambridge Street, but actually on Cavendish Street Enmore

Council says they will consult with local residents “on suitable replacement trees along the whole of Cavendish Street between Liberty & Cambridge Streets.”

They say “Notification period expires: 12 November 2010,” which indicates to me that they will not be accepting any submissions to retain the tree from the community.  The usual tree notifications say something similar to “deadline for submissions is ….” I guess we should be grateful that Council notifies us that they will be removing a tree, especially such a substantial tree.

We went to see the tree today.  It is in the same situation as the other 2 Figs at the other end of the block posted about last July 2010. They have

Footpath around the Cavendish Street Fig tree

been removed & the street looks bare.  Originally there were 4 Hills Figs along this block. Two remain with the one now up for removal. The other tree outside 23 Cavendish has barriers around it so I expect there will be a notification regarding this tree’s removal soon.  As drainage pipes are involved, I cannot see why Council would allow 1 tree to remain.

All up I find it sad. If there was money & a willingness to retain them, all the Fig trees along this section of Cavendish Street could have been saved. They have reached their mature height near enough & a bit of pruning every few years by a qualified Arborist would have kept them healthy & their height manageable.

Looking down Cavendish Street Enmore to the remaining Fig trees. The dirt areas are where 2 other Hills Figs were chopped down recently

They are a classic case of the wrong tree in the wrong place, but since they have been there for around 80 years as a guess, it’s a substantial loss of history for this section of Enmore/Stanmore.  This particular area is losing its large trees & I doubt that tall growing canopy producing trees will be planted as replacements.  Removal of trees like this changes the skyline & makes the area look hard because of the lack of green & the density of the buildings. It will be more concrete & brick with no visual softening provided by substantial trees with a large canopy cascading over the street.

These things bother me, though I grant that infrastructure problems caused by trees requires money to manage.  I just hope the few remaining Fig trees in Marrickville LGA can remain.  I also hope that Council plant some more in appropriate areas outside of parks.  I can think of the concreted area around Sydenham Station as one example where a tree of this size could be allowed to grow freely & would do much to improve the visual amenity of the area.

For information about the other mature 2 Hills Figs that were removed in Cavendish Street July 2010 see –