By Matthew Sims
Maribyrnong Council has started work to remove 12 heritage-listed trees along Bunbury Street from Footscray, despite an online petition attracting over 600 signatures calling for all work to stop immediately.
About 50 English elms and desert ashes make up Bunbury Street, with the council deciding to remove 12 of the trees citing their risk to the community following two big member defaults last December.
Maribyrnong general manager Celia Haddock said reports from the independent arborist confirmed a decline in their structural condition and the presence of internal decay.
“The council cannot knowingly endanger its residents and visitors to the area,” she said.
“It is because of the serious risk to public safety that the trees are being removed and why on this occasion the community was not consulted.”
Ms Haddock said the council would work with residents to create a tree planting renewal plan.
With a number of English elms originally planted in 1903, a May 4 Homewood report noted that many elms were “overripe and becoming unmanageable in the landscape due to severe trunk decay and cavities at the base of the large stems”.
An April Arbor Survey report said any work to recreate the historic bluestone curb as part of any streetscape improvement work may require additional tree removal along the avenue.
Footscray resident Ronch Willner said the community is calling on council to stop work immediately, engage in respectful discussions with the community, hire a heritage arborist, look at management options to extend the life of the trees and to immediately replace all trees with identical mature stock.
“The historic avenue of trees along Bunbury Street should be preserved because of its importance to Footscray, its contribution to the history of Maribyrnong and its contribution to flora and fauna,” he said. declared.
“Residents have continually raised concerns with council that the trees have not been taken care of.
“Not all old trees deserve a death sentence.”
Details: www.bunburytrees.com or www.change.org/p/save-the-historic-bunbury-street-trees.