Saving urban trees

by Anne Wharton

Many residents in the Unley Council area are concerned about the number of regulated and significant trees that are being removed. Indeed this seems to be happening in all of Adelaide’s suburbs.

Two huge river red gums back on to my property. The owners have recently applied for the second time to remove these significant trees. Their first application was refused by Unley Council in April 2016. The trees were given a good bill of health by the Council arborist and also an external arborist commissioned by the Council.

Subsequent to that decision, the owner plus myself and another neighbour had considerable pruning done to ensure the good health of the trees and minimise the potential for limbs dropping. Unfortunately, neighbours are not notified about the current application and have no right to be heard by the Council’s Development Assessment Panel.

These magnificent trees were here long before we were and deserve our respect. They are a haven for wildlife as well as being a crucial part of the natural environment around us. We regularly hear kookaburras and mopokes and during the 2008 drought even had a koala in them! Of course in our changing environment, they are critical to help cool and shade our suburbs. I believe it is also important for us to try and preserve these trees for future generations.

My neighbour Mark has produced a brief video about the trees.

Mark and I have also prepared a flier with information about the trees pointing to an on-line petition which is more general in nature and expresses our concerns about how decisions are made:

TREE MOVIE3 from Mark Patterson on Vimeo.

We seem to be rapidly losing tree cover in suburban Adelaide, partly due to the weakening of the planning laws and also when developers clear entire blocks to build fence-to-fence dwellings. Trees such as these are part of our heritage and deserve our respect for their sheer size and age.

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