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There are lots of significant trees in Camperdown Park.  You can just see on the bottom left an attractive wooden raised walkway installed by Marrickville Council to protect the roots and the ground around the tree from compaction.

I received the following email from a local resident, which was sent to Inner West Council.  The email is about adding a Significant Tree Register to the upcoming Tree DCP Amendment.

From Council’s ‘Your Say’Inner West’ –Inner West Council has resolved to undertake a review of the Development Control Plan (DCP) controls relating to trees. Council’s three tree DCPs (from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Leichhardt Councils) regulate the management of trees on private land and set out controls for determining tree pruning and removals via Permit Applications and Development Applications.”

 ________

Re: Tree DCP Amendment

To establish a Significant Tree Register to protect and celebrate our local heritage.

What is a significant tree?

“Significant trees are integral components of an ever-changing landscape through their dynamic cycle of growth, maturity, ageing, senescence and renewal. 

They reflect the patterns and processes which have shaped our natural and urban environments over time. They may represent the last vestiges of former natural or cultural landscapes – symbols of our environmental, social and economic histories. Significant trees are inextricably linked to the quality and identity of ‘place’.

Significant trees retain exceptional values in terms of their contribution to our environment. They have a recognisable range of heritage values – natural, cultural, scientific, aesthetic, visual, social, spiritual and commemorative. These trees can be symbols of great spiritual power. They may have associations with individual people and communities or tell stories of other times and places, or the historic development of a place, trade routes, connections and communications.” ~ Noel Ruting, Director of LandArc

Many councils in Sydney have a Significant Tree Register.  Blacktown City Council, at its ordinary meeting of 30th January 1985, resolved that a Register of Significant Trees be established in recognition of the need to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of the Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA), particularly those contributing to its rich environmental heritage.

That’s right.  33 years ago! 

On the 22nd October 2009, the Saving Our Trees blog asked Marrickville Council to establish a Significant Tree Register.

https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/22nd-october-09-we-need-a-significant-tree-register/

 9 years on we are still waiting………..

Why are we still waiting? Why doesn’t the Inner West Council recognise the importance of trees with unique historic, cultural or botanical values by establishing a Significant Tree Register?

The City of Sydney Significant Tree Register has a total of 2,674 trees from 157 properties are listed in the latest Register of Significant Trees.   These trees were selected on the basis of their historical, cultural, social, ecological or outstanding visual and aesthetic appeal.

Can we please protect our significant trees before they are lost forever?

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffett

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’ “. ~ John F. Kennedy

I also believe we have no time to lose, so can you please support a Significant Tree Register and add this to the Tree DCP Amendment.”

_____

I could not agree more.  With development happening at a rapid rate, we are losing many trees.  A few of these may be very important trees, but we, the community, do not know.   We need to protect significant trees.  The Inner West Council needs to take our urban forest seriously & not delay adding a Significant Tree Register (for both public & private trees) to this upcoming DCP Amendment.

It does not matter that significant trees are protected under current DCPs.  What matters is there is no public declaration of significant trees in the area.  It is about knowing about the existence of significant trees.

Why would other local councils have a Significant Tree Register if there was no reason for doing so?  Significant trees are an essential part of a localities history & the community want to know about them.

Other local councils are being much more proactive regarding protecting & celebrating important trees in their locality.   The Inner West Council needs to get with the times & take this small step forward. The community will respect them for doing this.

You can participate in community consultation on the Have Your Say website here –https://bit.ly/2MqzrQG

The deadline is this coming Friday 14thSeptember 2018.  Participating will not take long. 

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I love this oak tree that lives in a Marrickville back garden. The owner planted it 80 plus years ago and the whole family loves it.   It is bare for winter, but come spring, the wonderful vibrant green eaves transform this tree and the surrounding neighbourhood.

I am back.  I disappeared for a while.  My husband was in hospital twice & it has been a hectic time.   Lots has happened locally, but I did not have the time to focus.  He is home now, so now I can concentrate on trees & the local environment again.   Thanks to all who continued to come to see if I had written anything.

A resident sent me a Facebook post from Mayor Darcy Byrne who wants to make it easier for private trees to be removed if the resident feels it is posing a risk to safety or damaging their property.   See – https://www.facebook.com/byrne.darcy/videos/1797985483610673/

The Mayor says that the state government has changed the law to prevent Councillors from voting on tree applications “so officers who make the decisions have a lot of power.”  I presume this refers to Council Officers.  I always thought the Councillors had a lot of power to decide the fate of trees in the municipality.  I saw that if they were not tree-people, there was very little chance of them voting to retain a tree that was on the agenda of council meetings.

In this Facebook post Mayor Byrne repeatedly refers to replacing the trees & says he wants to increase the urban canopy.    This is good.

Saving Our Trees blog does not focus on private trees.  Public trees are more than enough work for one person to concentrate on.

I have always felt sorry for residents who have spoken to me about problem trees on their property & how hard it is to get permission to remove them.  It is a difficult subject because most of the ground to create a viable urban forest is private land.

The NSW government created the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code in 2014.  This Code allowed landowners to chop down trees on their property within 10-metres of a home & clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs on their property within 50-metres of their home, without a permit.  As a result, many of the leafy suburbs in Sydney lost a great percentage of their urban forest.  Many of the trees removed were significant, both in terms of visibility & were landmark trees & in providing homes & food for wildlife.   Trees removed were often not within the permitted area for tree removal.   There was an uproar in the community, the NSW Liberal government knew what was happening & gave notice of 18-months before they would change this law.  As a result, there was a rush to get trees chopped down.

Pittwater Council, Manly Council & Warringah Council fought the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Code to prevent further tree loss, as they believed trees were being removed to make way for development, to enhance views, especially water views & that many trees were not being removed because they presented a fire risk.

I think this period of time showed that people will remove trees when they get the opportunity & there are many in Sydney who dislike trees.  This is of huge concern with rising temperatures due to climate change.  Wildlife is already in serious trouble because of a lack of habitat & food. We need a culture change in the way we regard trees.

I restate that I do believe that some trees are not appropriate for the spaces they have been planted, but I also believe this needs to be decided by Council.   So, I hope if the Mayor’s planned changes get through, that our community does not further decimate what is in reality a poor urban forest.

I also have concerns about what tree species will replace what is removed.  If you remove a gum tree & replace with a Crepe Myrtle for example.  I feel the same about the species choices for public trees as well.  I hope that Council insists that replacement trees offer amenity & help wildlife.

Labeling trees as ‘dangerous’ is also a problem.  Yes, people do get hurt or killed by trees, but it is a very small percentage.  Yet every day we get into cars & the statistics for people getting hurt or killed by vehicles is massive.  We ignore that & focus on trees.

Trees are useful to us.  They provide shade & oxygen for us to breathe.  They clean the air of pollution, especially particulate matter from vehicles.  A view of trees helps kids learn & all of us recover faster from illness.

To be amongst trees makes us feel peaceful & helps lift depression & calms anxiety. Trees sequester carbon & help mitigate climate change.   One tree can cool the air as much as ten residential air conditioners operating 20-hours a day & they do this silently & without using electricity.

Trees drop the cost of power, act as wind breaks & block off sound.  They also reduce storm water runoff, slow down cars & lower crime.

Shopping areas with lots of leafy trees have been shown to increase shopper spending by 11%.  They also raise property values, so there is a monetary reason to keep them & a monetary benefit to plant them.

Trees are great.   They keep us alive, keep us feeling good & work to improve our health.  Living in an area with few trees mean that the beauty that trees provide is not present.  Streets are also hot & birdsong is sparse.  Even if you think it is okay to be without trees, you are actually missing out on many proven benefits to your mental, emotional & physical health.

Hopefully the Queensland Brushbox trees that we have all over the municipality will cope with the changed climate since they come from Queensland.

I lived in Melbourne once.  It may have been the part of Melbourne where I lived & worked, but my impression was that Melbourne was leafier & greener than Sydney, so it was with surprise that I read the following headline – ‘A warming Melbourne may need to consider a Sydney tree-change.’ See – http://bit.ly/2tWet7g

The article shows two thermal images of Elizabeth Street Melbourne in January 2017 when the temperature was 36.7 degrees. One image shows the asphalt temperature reached 60 degrees, while the other image shows a temperature of 34.5 degrees in the shade of street trees.

University of Melbourne Clean Air and Urban Landscape research fellow David Kendal said the average temperature of the city has risen 2 degrees in the past 50 years, driven by a combination of climate change and increased development.”

Climate change projections for Melbourne predict the temperature will rise a further 3.5 degrees by 2100.

To cope with the changed conditions, tree species for streets & parks will also need to be changed to cope with the increased heat & to not create hotter urban heat islands.  The Northern European species currently planted across Melbourne will find it hard to survive, as will some Eucalyptus species that grow in the southern part of Australia.

I’ve been wondering when this issue will be addressed in Sydney, especially in the now Inner West Council municipality.  Sydney is historically 4 degrees warmer than Melbourne & we can expect the temperature to increase beyond this to a new norm.

Living in Sydney by the end of the century will be like living in Rockhampton, subtropical Queensland, if global temperatures are allowed to rise by four degrees – the current trajectory of climate change.”   I presume Rockhampton has some very different tree species than we do in Sydney.

Nesting box along the Cooks River in Earlwood.

$200,000 was spent trying to protect wildlife impacted by the Southern Hume Highway Duplication project in Southern NSW.  See – http://ab.co/2uDf9fl

587 nesting boxes were installed to replace the 587 trees with natural hollows that were felled as part of major tree clearing between Holbrook and Coolac to build the highway.  The nesting boxes were to help the Superb parrot, the Brown treecreeper & the squirrel glider deemed threatened or in need of assistance.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services commissioned the nesting boxes, as well as a 4-year follow-up study to see whether the boxes were being used.  The boxes were checked 3,000 times over the four years.

The follow-up study found the project had failed.

“There will be some populations of these species that basically won’t do well now because they won’t have the nesting resources and they won’t have those resources for the next 200 to 300 years.  We need to make sure we don’t make those mistakes again.” ~ Professor David Lindenmayer, Australian National University Canberra.

Trees take between 80-150 years to develop hollows, so changes in tree management is needed if hollow-dependent wildlife are to survive.  We cannot feel confident that nesting boxes can be offered as a substitute for a natural tree hollow.

No hollow means no breeding.  No breeding leads to extinction.

Photo of street tree pruning done just two weeks ago by Ausgrid in Walenore Avenue Newtown.  Photo by Chris O'Dell used with thanks.

Photo of street tree pruning done just two weeks ago by Ausgrid in Walenore Avenue Newtown. Photo by Chris O’Dell used with thanks.

It is wonderful to see the push to have power companies take responsibility & pay for the damage they do to street trees is starting to gain momentum.  It means that there is cultural change happening & this is always good.

“A decision by the newly formed inner west Sydney Council to lobby Ausgrid to replace damaged trees is attracting plenty of interest here in the Southern Highlands.”

Wingecarribee Council Deputy Mayor Ian Scandrett “believes Endeavour Energy should contribute to selected replacement of the main trees which have been disfigured.   However, he’s also open to the idea of directing those contributions towards putting wires underground in our streets to preserve avenues of trees.”   

Hornsby Shire Council is also tackling the issue of street tree pruning for powerlines this time with Ausgrid.

In a January 2017 media release titled, ‘Council’s push to move powerlines underground,’ “At December’s meeting Council approved a mayoral minute seeking a discussion with electricity provider Ausgrid about ways to gradually place the power supply underground.  Council will also investigate ways to ensure all new subdivisions and high density developments include underground cabling.”

 “That pruning transforms the trees into stunted shadows of their real potential.  Imagine what we can do to our streetscapes if we have unlimited ability to plant trees and allow them to grow to their full scale.  We will have beautiful avenues of trees that will make our Bushland Shire an even more attractive place to live.” ~ ” Mayor Steve Russell, Hornsby Shire Council.

I agree 100 per cent.  Imagine also the ability to cool our streets & neighbourhoods if street trees were able to grow to their full potential.  It would mean that the urban heat island effect would be less dangerous, that people are less likely to die during heatwaves, that it would be nice to walk to wherever we are going & for those who do not have cars, walking would be a nicer experience than it currently is.

Those trees would be able to deliver more amenity in terms of beauty, shade, reduced cooling costs, & as the research keeps telling us, better public health.

Trees capture air-pollution & particulate from vehicles.  Particulate matter (that black stuff on your window sills) has been found to –

  • increase the incidence of respiratory illnesses such as asthma,
  • increase the incidence of heart disease and increase the incidence of fatal heart attacks &
  • increase incidence of dementia.

If these are not reason enough why street trees should be a priority, I don’t know what can be.

One of my Perth friends told me that powerlines are going underground, which was new to me.  I googled & found this published in January 2014, which shows how far behind we are.

For over a decade, Western Power has been undertaking an extensive program to put powerlines underground throughout Western Australia. Around 18 per cent of the overhead distribution network existing at the start of the program in 1996 is now underground, including 54 per cent of the Perth metropolitan area.”

“The recognised benefits of putting power underground include fewer blackouts during inclement weather, enhanced visual appearance, improved property values, reduced street tree pruning requirement and brighter, safer streets with the new lighting system.”

About 98% of the works are done by directional drilling. ….  The extensive use of directional drilling helps minimise the impact on residents and keeps reinstatement costs low.”  There is more information on how it is done & who pays for what in this interesting articlehttp://bit.ly/2kE43oH

I received the following in an email from a local resident last week –

“We desperately need a great urban canopy to cool our streets, footpaths and suburbs.   For visual amenity, for wildlife, to encourage walking, to cool cars for those of us without driveways/undercover car parking.  Putting power cables underground means we can have the trees we want looking great and providing the canopy we need.”

Inner West Council, please add putting powerlines underground in your negotiations with Ausgrid.   Although a slow process, underground cables will allow this municipality to be transformed into a greener municipality which would be healthier for all, including the wildlife.

January 2017 tree pruning by Ausgrid in Renwick Street Marrickville.  This is one of multiple examples on this street.

January 2017 tree pruning by Ausgrid in Renwick Street Marrickville. This is one of multiple examples on this street.

 

Two branches left after pruning by Ausgrid

Two branches left after pruning by Ausgrid

I found a very interesting article on the practice of tree topping in American newspaper the Richmond Register called, ‘Topping Trees is a Bad Practice.’  See – http://bit.ly/2ifhA5e

It is especially interesting in terms of the topping of street trees done by power company Ausgrid, as mentioned in the City of Sydney Council Minute I posted here last week.

  • “Topping involves the drastic removal or cutting back of large branches in mature trees leaving stubs. Topping can make a tree hazardous and reduce its life.”
  • Removing much of the tree canopy upsets the crown-to-root ratio and can cause serious interruption of the tree’s food supply as well as exposing the bark to the sun. For example: a 20-year-old tree has developed 20-years-worth of leaf surface area, therefore that much area is needed to feed the 20-years-worth of branches, trunks and roots that have developed.”
  • “Large branch stubs left from topping seldom close or callus. Nutrients are no longer transported to large stubs and that part of the tree becomes unable to seal off the injury. This leaves stubs vulnerable to insect invasion and fungal decay. Once decay has begun in a branch stub, it may spread into the main trunk, ultimately killing the tree.”
  • “Topping removes all existing buds that would ordinarily produce normal sturdy branches and instead stimulates regrowth that is dense and upright just below the pruning cut. The growth that results from topping is not well integrated into the wood of the tree. Because of the weak connections, these branches are more vulnerable to breaking.”

We know there is another way because Energy Australia managed our street trees for many decades with a pruning cycle of 7-8 years, while now Ausgrid has a pruning cycle of every 18-months.

Food for thought.

This sign was installed  by Marrickville Council.

This sign was installed by Marrickville Council.

A resident said with some sarcasm that they were glad Ausgrid at least left some canopy over the street.  (Marrickville)

A resident said with some sarcasm that they were glad Ausgrid at least left some canopy over the street. (Marrickville)

Today I was sent this Minute of the City of Sydney Council dated 24th October 2016.  This council document makes wonderful reading for those of us who have been greatly concerned & angered by the pruning practices of our street trees by power company Ausgrid.   It also gives our opinions legitimacy.  I thank Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney for this Minute.

Bold is my emphasis. For the original document see –  http://bit.ly/2iEjxEw

 COUNCIL

24 OCTOBER 2016

ITEM 3.2. FILE NO:

To Council:

AUSGRID TREE PRUNING S051491

MINUTE BY THE LORD MAYOR

The City’s urban canopy helps make our city liveable for our residents and workers. Street trees benefit the community’s health, remove pollutants from the air, create shade in the hot summer months and enhance general wellbeing. In densely populated areas, trees can also provide privacy.

There are currently around 81,000 trees in the City of Sydney area. Our last canopy measurement in 2013 found that the Local Government Area (LGA) has a 17.1 per cent canopy cover. This is up from just over 15 per cent in 2008.

Over the past 11 years, more than 11,431 street trees have been planted throughout the local area as part of our commitment in Sustainable Sydney 2030 to increase the local area’s green canopy by 50 per cent to 23.5 per cent in total.

Street trees need to be pruned occasionally to maintain the security of the overhead electricity wires. However, I share the concerns of residents about the disgraceful way in which Ausgrid’s contractors mutilate trees.

The methods breach the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees. Of particular concern is:

  • the ‘pruning’ is excessive and unnecessary and, far from being based on a risk management approach, it is simply “one size fits all”;
  • Ausgrid’s approach takes no account of tree species and growth rates, formative pruning that may have been carried out by local authorities, tree location, maintenance regime or risk of failure;
  • Ausgrid contractors effectively use ‘lopping’, the removal of branches to a designated clearance and not to a branch collar or other growth point. This is described as an ‘unacceptable practice’ in the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees; and
  • lopping is more expensive than a more environmentally sensitive approach would be. The harder a tree is cut the faster the regrowth. So the practice implemented by Ausgrid increases the cost of pruning as the trees require more frequent visits. The approach not only fails in terms of the environment and urban amenity, but economically.

Ausgrid’s mutilation of trees is controversial throughout the areas in which it occurs. On 12 October 2016, the Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen MP, moved a motion in the NSW Parliament calling on the Baird Government to hold an urgent parliamentary inquiry into “the butchering of trees across the inner west” by Ausgrid contractors. The motion followed a public meeting in Haberfield the previous month that was attended by over 100 people in response to Ausgrid pruning in that suburb.

When questioned about their approach, Ausgrid makes spurious claims to justify the extensive pruning, such as the risk of children climbing trees and getting electrocuted. I have seen no evidence to support this claim. On 13 October 2016, the Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich MP, asked a number of questions in State parliament about Ausgrid’s pruning practices and the claims they have made to justify them. I look forward to the responses.

Lopping in the City’s LGA stopped in mid-2016 after representations from the City but continues in the inner west and north shore. We remain concerned that the Ausgrid pruning program for 2017 in the City may include destructive practices, such as lopping in the absence of a formal commitment not to.

Ultimately, the solution is to place power lines underground, something I have been calling for as Lord Mayor and as State MP since 2001. Underground power lines would remove the need to mutilate street trees and provide future generations with a permanent legacy of greater energy reliability, improved safety and a better urban environment. It will bring us into step with other Australian capitals, and major international cities such as London New York, Paris and Rome.

I will write to the Premier requesting that he begin this important work as soon as possible. I will also write to the President of Local Government NSW (LGNSW), Councillor Keith Rhoades, urging LGNSW to run a state-wide campaign on this issue, given it affects communities across our State.

To avoid further mutilation of trees by Ausgrid contractors in the interim, I will seek a formal commitment from Ausgrid that their contractors will use best practice – as defined by the City of Sydney in conjunction with other Councils and major industry associations – when pruning trees, and abide by the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees. This would rule out destructive practices, such as lopping.

I will also urge the Premier to insist that contract conditions attached to the recent leasing of 50.4 per cent of the Ausgrid network includes clear conditions for the successful lessee that tree pruning must be in accordance with best practice and follow the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees.

RECOMMENDATION

It is resolved that Council:
(A) note the destructive tree pruning practices used by Ausgrid contractors which:

  1. (i)  are excessive, unnecessary, and not based on a risk management approach, but simply “one size fits all”;
  2. (ii)  take no account of tree species and growth rates, formative pruning that may have been carried out by local authorities, tree location, maintenance regime or risk of failure;
  3. (iii)  effectively use ‘lopping’ which is described as an ‘unacceptable practice’ in the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees, increasing the cost of pruning as the trees require more frequent visits and thus failing not only in terms of the environment and urban amenity, but economically; and

 (iv) is not based on evidence, but on spurious claims, such as the risk of children climbing trees and being electrocuted;

  1. (B)  note that the best way to avoid tree mutilation while providing greater energy reliability, improved safety and a better urban environment is to place power lines underground;
  2. (C)  request the Lord Mayor write to the Premier seeking a commitment that:
    1. (i)  power lines in NSW will be placed underground as a matter of urgency; and
    2. (ii)  the contract for the leasing of 50.4 per cent of the Ausgrid network include conditions that pruning of trees across the network be in accordance with best practice and compliant with the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees;
  3. (D)  request the Lord Mayor write to Ausgrid seeking a written assurance that any pruning of trees be in accordance with best practise, [sic] compliant with the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees (which requires pruning be undertaken by third parties with Arboriculture qualifications – not ‘tree loppers’); and
  4. (E)  request the Lord Mayor write to the President of Local Government NSW, Councillor Keith Rhoades, asking Local Government NSW to run a state-wide campaign about compliance of electricity networks with the Australian Standard for the Pruning of Amenity Trees.

COUNCILLOR CLOVER MOORE  – Lord Mayor”

Here is your urban forest - on the ground.

Here is your urban forest – on the ground.  

little-corella-photo-by-saving-our-treesI was sent the link to this short video called, ‘How forests heal people.’    It is lovely to watch, nice to listen to & succinctly sums up the benefits that being in nature brings to human beings.

We don’t need a forest to heal, though looking at these images feels like being in a forest is a fast track way to healing.   Parks, trees, rivers, the beach, a game of golf, a trip to the mountains – all these are also effective ways to reconnect with nature & slow our brains down, thereby reaping the benefits of being in nature & starting the healing process.

Research by Planet Ark found that time spent in nature reduces a person’s chance of –

  • developing diabetes by 43%,
  • developing cardiovascular disease & stroke by 37% &
  • developing depression by 25%.

These statistics show that it makes sense being in nature & we should do it often, at least once a week even if it is a quiet wander around your garden or along the street looking at other people’s gardens.

How Forests Heal People (4.5 minutes) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-wHq6yY2CI

Photographer unknown.  Sourced from Pinterest.

Photographer unknown. Sourced from Pinterest.

So sad to read of the death of the 88-year-old Jacaranda tree in the south-eastern quadrangle of Sydney University.  It fell quietly overnight on Friday 28th October 2016.  http://bit.ly/2eKF9Qn

This tree was planted in 1928 by Professor EG Waterhouse & had a massive 18-metre wide canopy.  It was included in the City of Sydney’s Significant Tree Register.

It had ganoderma fungal decay in the base of its trunk, which was known to the university, though tests are being done to confirm the cause of death.  It’s very nice to see such interest in a tree.

In 2014, Sydney University took cuttings of this Jacaranda tree & have successfully grafted two clones – so the genes of this iconic & much loved tree will continue to live on.

Most of the canopy is on the ground.

Most of the canopy is on the ground.

Great news for our street tree & our streetscapes.  Great news also for the wildlife who have barely any habitat as it is.

A statement from the Inner West Council said Mr Trevor Armstrong, CEO of Ausgrid power company, has made a commitment to the Council & therefore the whole community, “that contractors will reduce the cutback they are carrying out on local street trees following strong advocacy from Council and the community.” See – http://bit.ly/2dq10wk

After meeting with the Inner West Council, Ausgrid has said that “the maximum trimming for regrowth in the future will be 0.5 metres.”   Ausgrid’s current guidelines are for a “clearance of 1 metre around bare low voltage powerlines.”

The Inner West Council also resolved not to retain “TreeServe, the company responsible for the excessive pruning,” on their contractors list.  Let’s hope that the next contractors do a better job pruning our street trees.

I want to thank Ausgrid for taking this issue seriously & making the changes.   I also thank the Inner West Council for taking this issue to Ausgrid & pursuing the protection of our street trees.  Our urban forest is extremely important to most in the community & the look of butchered street trees does have a negative impact on us.

Two branches left after pruning by Ausgrid in 2014.

Two branches left after pruning by Ausgrid in 2014.

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