26 July 2013

What is a Tree Worth?

Residents in Arundel Ave were woken last week to the sound of chainsaws destroying a significant tree near the corner of Grantley Ave. While DPTI had promised to give adequate notification of this event they letter boxed late on the evening before ( well after most people would check their letterbox) and then destroyed the tree early the next morning.
This tree was significant and in the early assessment of trees by DPTI and consultation with Council was to be saved, any works near the roots were to be dug by hand so as to not damage the roots. Nevertheless, in April  Theiss York's contractors failed to follow the advice and used a mechanical device to dig a trench near the tree and in doing so severed almost all the roots to the west of the tree. An report was immediately requested in a bid to see if the tree could be saved, and the eventual answer was that it would be unsafe to leave the tree in place. By the arborist's assessment this tree was worth $52,000. It will be replaced, at best, with two $17 trees.
Council's experience in suing over tree damage (Walford) resulted in legal fees that far outweighed the money sort  in compensation.
Why is it that these people see that trees are easily replaceable when  in fact, they are not.
On the same day I had a report from two  residents describing irresponsible treatment of significant trees at development sites in other areas of Unley by other contractors. Staff are investigating these and, hopefully, the damage is not fatal.
If anyone would like a copy of the reports I'm happy to email them to you.

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