Sydney is changing with all the high-rise development, but also because of the new style of street tree pruning by power company Ausgrid. What was a rarity when Energy Australia managed power in the Sydney region, has now become a fairly common sight & frankly, it’s ugly.
The photos with this post are of Windsor Avenue Croydon Park. I saw them while driving down Georges River Road & was interested enough to stop for a closer look on my return. I imagine it was a shock to the residents when they came home because there is not much tree left. Google maps show a much larger canopy when they last took images of the streets.
Ausgrid’s website says, “Generally, in residential areas the clearance around bare low voltage powerlines is 1 metre.”
However, what I have noticed is that pruning happens much lower at 1-metre below the service cable. I have been told to expect more service cables, so would that mean 1-metre lower than any new cable?
The following was taken from an August 2015 article in the Sydney Morning Herald where many local councils were upset about the degree of pruning by Ausgrid, including our own Marrickville Council –
“I’m not sure what’s driving the savagery that they’re using,” Cr Johns said. I can only suspect that it’s to lower costs, that if you completely hatchet a tree then you don’t have to come back for two years instead of annually.” http://bit.ly/1NkD6dV
My question is, why the need for annual pruning or every 18-months as happens in the Inner West when for decades, street trees were pruned every 7-8 years?
The trees in my street reached as tall as the power poles for the two decades that we have lived here, but not since Ausgrid took over the company. Now the power poles stick up bare metres above whatever foliage has been left on the trees & sadly, each year more of the canopy gets removed.
Even trees in front gardens have been removed after a severe pruning from the power company left them ugly & one-sided.
We were not a leafy street to start with, so this new pruning management has had a major impact on the visual amenity of the streetscape. It is also hotter – much hotter because there is little shade left.
With more & more research showing how important trees, especially street trees, are to human health, this continued decimation is bound to impact the community. This issue must be addressed by local councils sooner rather than later.