Until recently this Hill’s Fig had a beautiful full canopy. Around a third of the canopy has been removed turning it into a v-shaped tree to install Aerial Bundled Cable.

I love Aerial Bundled Cable & wish it were the norm since we cannot have electricity cables buried underground.  For pruning street trees Ausgrid says, – In residential areas the vegetation safety clearance is typically 1.5 metres around bare, low voltage overhead wires & two metres around power poles. However, the safety clearance depends on the voltage of the overhead wire – the higher the voltage the larger the clearance.”

They say the following about Aerial Bundled Cable –  Councils are offered the option of installing Aerial Bundled Cable (ABC) which wraps the four Iow voltage overhead wires, strung between poles along suburban streets, into one single insulated cable.  The safety clearances required for ABC are less than for uninsulated wire. Trees that have already been trimmed for uninsulated wire clearances will take some time to regrow to the ABC safety clearances. ABC also reduces the likelihood of a power interruption, which can occur when uninsulated lines touch and then short-circuit. In some instances, this can cause live wires to fall to the ground.” http://bit.ly/VtJF5V

Marrickville Council have done the community a big & costly favour paying Ausgrid to install Aerial Bundled Cable for a Hill’s Fig located near the corner of Warren & Carrington Roads Marrickville South.  This is one of 14 Hill’s Fig trees that have graced this area between & including Warren Road, Carrington Road & Renwick Street for decades.  They are landmark trees & are very much loved.

In my opinion the Fig tree in Warren Road has always looked the best of all these Fig trees – until recently that is.  To install Aerial Bundled Cable through this particular Fig tree Ausgrid has removed around a third of the canopy.  One can only assume they did this to ensure that they don’t need to come back for a while.

How can installing Aerial Bundled Cable require more of the canopy to be removed than the ordinary pruning they do for powerlines?   I thought Aerial Bundled Cable was designed to actually save the tree’s canopy.

In this case it appears that 3 large branches have been removed making the tree into a v-shape.  It was upsetting to see & as is the case with pruning to this degree, the tree will never look the same again.  Yet another tree asset has been degraded.

I will look for, then post other examples around Sydney where Aerial Bundled Cable has been used on trees of equivalent size to show that pruning in this case was extreme.

I do not understand the extent of pruning to this tree to install the Aerial Bundled Cable, which is meant to protect the canopy of special trees.