street tree for removal

street tree for removal


SUNDAY:  For some reason the 21 page document of the tree reports & photographs of trees to be removed that Council released on their website for the suburb of Marrickville has been taken down & in its place there is a single page document – the map. All the reports & photographs have gone.


I am sharing a letter written by a resident & sent to the Councillors & Marrickville Council. The letter concerns the recent notification of 109 street trees to be removed.  Thank you to the resident for allowing me to post this letter.

“I am writing to you as ward councillors to express my concern over the tree removal programme, resuming once again in Marrickville.  I had hoped that after the public outcry against Council’s proposal to remove 1700 trees, in November 2012, that council would have realised that many of the ratepayers actually care about the Marrickville streetscape.

My concern is not with the removal of genuinely dangerous trees.  It is in the way that Marrickville Council goes about the tree removal process and the indifference they have for both ratepayers and the environment.

At the council meeting in November 2012 when your proposal to remove 1700 trees was defeated it was noted that residents near affected trees would be advised of any future removal.

We were not advised of this current decision and I also note that there is nothing in your March newsletter about the impending cull of trees either.  The first I knew about it was a notice attached to the tree.

Contrary to your advice, trees are not always replaced.  Another large tree was cut down in our street last year and no replacement tree has appeared. Does Marrickville Council assume we are completely indifferent to our environment and the erosion of the streetscape.

In fact, it appears from your current “removal notice’ that there is no current tree replacement policy in place, – but that one will be issued after the trees are cut down.  I find this unbelievable to the point of negligence.  Marrickville council’s own DCP refers to an ‘urban forest’ policy.  Whilst a DCP is aimed at future development, surely a council that instigates an ‘urban forest’ policy must have some policy of street tree replacement?

Further, your approach does not take into account the bio-diversity of the area.  Wholesale removal of trees, many of which are over 20 metres high and replacing (some?) of them with nursery saplings does not provide a consistent tree coverage.  The lack of tree coverage, which will last for at least twenty years until new growth is established, will cause significant change to the environment including;

  • Potential damage to existing vegetation in both streets and gardens that currently rely on street trees for shade.
  • A bleak streetscape, perhaps punctuated with small new growth trees (assuming they are replaced at all).
  • Significant reduction in the bio-diversity of the area with the natural habitat of numerous birds and small mammals destroyed.  Again, it will take at least twenty years to achieve current habitat levels.

In my opinion Marrickville Council has a responsibility to its ratepayers. It manages the suburb on behalf of community and should have a more holistic approach towards the environmental management of the area, which would include keeping ratepayers informed of destructive actions proposed for their area.  

Thus I am seeking further information from you on the overall scale of tree removal and how, or if, you propose to replace them.