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70% of Canberra’s trees to be lopped down?

By johnboy - 25 May 2009 34

The Canberra Times informs us that our ever-brilliant government has been surprised by the mass-planting of trees in the last hundred years and is going to have to mass-chainsaw them all down.

Well, not all, just 400,000 of them or 70% of the urban forest.

They could have done staggered removal and replacement, but it appears as usual it’s been left too late.

UPDATED: The Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur has some thoughts on what’s needed by way of community consultation to make this work.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
70% of Canberra’s trees to be lopped down?
sepi 4:12 pm 25 May 09

In Beechworth and other old Victorian goldrush towns they have tree lined streets with trees that are way older than ours. I think this is massive overkill, to chop down perfectly good trees – and then try to establish new baby trees mid-drought.

housebound 4:07 pm 25 May 09

At the risk of adding facts to a thread:
1. here is the presentation for the research underpinning the whole idea:
http://www.canberra.edu.au/centres/developing-cities/autumn-seminar/docs/brack.pdf
(the relevant parts are the graphs a few slides in, just skip past all the intro)

2. The tree policy:
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/play/parks_forests_and_reserves/trees/tree_policy
I was hoping for a more detailed policy than this, but I couldn’t find anything.

Ceej1973 3:58 pm 25 May 09

Ant, you are correct in the context, however, the thesaurus refers to lop as being cut, chop, hack, sever, crop, trim, slice, snip, slash. Several of these can be used for the sinister act that you correctly point out, however, not all trees are safe to remain standing, hence mine and possibly most Canberrans presumed knowledge of the state of health of every tree in the Canberra street scape.

johnboy 3:50 pm 25 May 09

Lopping them down.

As in cutting down the whole tree.

peterh 3:45 pm 25 May 09

ant, the problem is that a lot of the trees planted in canberra aren’t native to this area, in fact, several aren’t natives at all. that is the biggest shame of this. The established oaks and conifers aren’t dropping brnaches, it is the shallow rooted natives that have more problems. and they should consider replacing several eucalypts with new eucalypts, anyway, rather than looping branches and putting the tree under stress…

ant 3:35 pm 25 May 09

Are they lopping the trees, or cutting them down? Lopping means to prune the branches.

Demolishing all the trees in Canberra is just managerial nonsense. Trees take years to grow, and nuking them all en masse would be horrific. I seriously question their dangerousness, especially the exotic species.

Doing a carefully planned replacement over some years makes more sense. If they de-racinated entire suburbs of their trees, the property values of those suburbs would plummet.

Ceej1973 3:17 pm 25 May 09

They have started doing staggered tree lopping in Yarralumla. last week they were cutting down every 2nd Eucy, along Empire Circuit. Surprise, surprise, they looked perfectly healthy, but I cant comment on the borer aspects of those trees already felled.

johnboy 11:25 am 25 May 09

The 70% figure was new to me.

astrojax 11:17 am 25 May 09

isn’t this old news? i thought the 200 million dollars to address the urban forest of canberra was announced some weeks ago and it was made quite clear that the work will be carried out over thirty years, so it isn’t as if the whole forest will disappear at once and there will be a no-tree time. is it?

Granny 10:30 am 25 May 09

It always upsets me when trees are cut down, even when I can understand rationally that it has to be done. It has a powerful emotional effect on me. It’s like losing old friends.

I’ve been known to talk to trees and stroke them, especially if they were due to be cut down the next day, and to try and save a seed or something.

It has also been the trigger for me moving out of an area when they cut down most of the trees at the shops. I just went, “It’s time to go.” And we did.

But safety is the most important factor. Sadly, we all have to go some time.

Mr Evil 10:16 am 25 May 09

johnboy said :

amarooresident2 said :

I read the dead tree version of this story and my impression was that they WERE planning to do it progressivly (over the next 25 years). I think you have the wrong end of the stick on this one.

Well, as the CT is no longer a viable way to get information to the community thanks to their website policies they might want to put out a statement making it clear.

My understanding was it was too late in the oldest suburbs.

This story was cover by Stateline a few months back, and yes, I think Johnboy is right – for some areas it is too late to stagger the program. Griffith was one suburb that will lose a lot of trees in a short space of time.

They are trying to get rid of a lot of the older trees which have reached their safe life limit, before one loses a large limb or falls over and kills someone.

housebound 10:16 am 25 May 09

johnboy said :

Well, as the CT is no longer a viable way to get information to the community …

Hehehe

The ‘too late’ argument will end up being more about how it is done, rather than whether it is done. Unfortunately, the lesson from past attempts is they do remove every second tree in one go, then wonder why people get upset. Realistically, they could take out every fourth tree, have less of an impact, and then come back a couple of years later (not the next year).

The whole process would take longer, but it would lead to less excitement. Given the trees live for decades, the argument that all the trees from one street will all die or become dangerous on cue in a single year is a bit odd.

johnboy 10:03 am 25 May 09

amarooresident2 said :

I read the dead tree version of this story and my impression was that they WERE planning to do it progressivly (over the next 25 years). I think you have the wrong end of the stick on this one.

Well, as the CT is no longer a viable way to get information to the community thanks to their website policies they might want to put out a statement making it clear.

My understanding was it was too late in the oldest suburbs.

housebound 9:59 am 25 May 09

The tree section has wanted to do this for a while, but liek everywhere else in government, struggled for funds.

Perhaps we should be asking who will project manage this, and whether they come from the GDE/AMC school of management?

amarooresident2 9:39 am 25 May 09

I read the dead tree version of this story and my impression was that they WERE planning to do it progressivly (over the next 25 years). I think you have the wrong end of the stick on this one.

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