Falling branches doom Maylands mahogany

BAYSWATER city council will chop down a 23-metre southern mahogany in Maylands, after complaints from residents about falling branches.

A risk assessment of the Hillside Crescent tree following “sporadic limb failure”—including a large branch that fell in August —concluded the tree presented an unacceptable risk.

Cr Chris Cornish, who voted against felling the tree, took to Facebook to ask residents whether the council should have sought a second opinion.

“Goodbye big tree in Maylands,” he posted.

“What is your view—at a cost of circa $300, should the City of Bayswater seek a second opinion on whether any trees deemed ‘significant’ are a danger to the community before cutting them down?”

Catherine Rae said an arborist’s report should have been made available to councillors before they made a decision.

“That is the largest tree on the top of Hillside Crescent!” she posted.

“An actual arborist report would be an appropriate measure to take for a tree of this size.”

• Maylands tree to be felled by Bayswater city council. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Maylands tree to be felled by Bayswater city council. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

Mary van Wees also favoured a second independent opinion.

“An independent arborist report is a must,” she posted. “People’s arguments against retaining large trees in suburbia can be very subjective (as can the opposite POV) so its best to refer to a professional!”

Cr Cornish followed up his post with a blog: “A solution for preventing the destruction of trees. It has occurred to me that the best way to prevent the destruction of trees on public property is to place a financial valuation on the trees.

“I am advocating that in addition to all the info currently provided in the agenda, there would also be a financial value provided on the tree according to the Burnley valuation method (or similar).”

Council officers deemed that pruning the tree back any further would have placed it under stress and was not an option.

It will cost the council $1300 to fell the tree.

Two “suitable” trees will be planted in its place.

The Ed says: The grammar in the Facebook posts has been corrected. They’re just too awful to read otherwise.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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