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Gum Tree Menace Stalks Canberra Streets

By johnboy 24 January 2006 8

Decades after abandoning leafy oak trees to line our suburban streets the Canberra Times now appears to be campaigning against the dinky-di menace of gum trees.

big gums were more likely to drop their limbs in the heat…

Mr Edwards said the neighbourhood gum trees were dropping their limbs all the time and were inappropriate for the street and gardens…

a family with two young children was lucky to escape serious injury when a gum tree fell on two cars in Stamford Street, Mitchell, a week ago…

About three weeks ago another gum tree had fallen on a car in Southern Cross Drive…

gum trees were dangerous and did not belong in urban areas…

Arborists warn that branches can fall at any time and cars should not be parked under them.

Cripes! Won’t anybody think of the children!

Readers may recall that back on 05-DEC-05 the Canberra Times warned us following the tragic felling of Athol Sellars by the murderous eucalypts. (We also covered it)

And as his son Mark recounted last night to The Canberra Times, he was not short of an opinion about matters to do with trees. Eucalypts, in particular, were not well-suited to the suburban environs of Canberra because of the danger they posed.

The CT also alerted us back then to a new menace as rescuers “were unable to move the hugeeucalypt[sic].”

Those of us lucky to live in the leafy inner suburbs are once again blessed but those of you in the outer regions better watch out.

The Gum Trees Are Gunna Get You All!!

What’s Your opinion?

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8 Responses to
Gum Tree Menace Stalks Canberra Streets
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Chop71 5:20 pm 03 Apr 09


Lots of gums in outer Belconnen. I have been looking at a dead one out my back door for 28 months now. Called TAMS on numerous occasions and they put paint on it although I don’t know how that will save a kid walking along the path from school when she falls.

I’d even happily pay for a replacment should someone be bothered to remove it.

RandomGit 12:42 pm 25 Jan 06

Nothing a hatchet and concentrated saline at 3am can’t handle. I’m talking concentrated to the point of milky.

Thumper 12:10 pm 25 Jan 06

And even if they are in the power lines you are not allowed to touch them.

can’t win…

barking toad 10:02 am 25 Jan 06

Ahh, Maelinar, how times have changed. Now you’d be struggling to get the good lady away from the Lifestyle channel on Fox to sweep up the leaves after you’d finished lopping and gone to the pub.

Gum trees don’t really suit the urban landscape and in these days of red tape and bleeding heart greenies pruning is almost taboo unless they’re in the power lines.

Mr Evil 3:22 pm 24 Jan 06

I recall that we always had a huge problems with trees damaging houses in NZ whenever there were storms, and funnily enough most of the trees involved weren’t eucalypts.

Clear felling the whole of Canberra might be a good idea, but unfortunately that would destroy a feature of the city that most people who live here like.

Maelinar 1:13 pm 24 Jan 06

On the subject of trees;

Back in the days of white picket fences and wives who wore starched pinnies, and knew their place, it was considered a husbandly duty to keep the large trees maintained. So down with the pipe on a saturday morning, and up he went with a ladder and a bandsaw, to trim the tree.

In this day and age, by virtue of several layers of legislation and red tape, people aren’t inclined, nor are they motivated, to keep trees pruned.

A number of houses I have attended could have avoided the entire issue if they had trimmed only a few branches to reduce the wind load on the tree.

There are several reasons why people aren’t motivated to prune trees, even if the tree appears to be in imminent danger of collapse, they still won’t touch it. On a number of occasions I’ve heard that because the tree is on the verge of the road, it’s a council responsibility and not the landholders.

While I’m sure that you’d be told off for chopping the tree down, I’m reasonably sure that if you regularly and sensibly pruned it, nobody would even look twice.

Thumper 12:49 pm 24 Jan 06


As much as I like them, without doubt gum trees should not be used in a streetscape nor in suburbia.

They grow very big and when the wind blows they drop massive limbs or fall over. When it rains, they just fall over. They do this all the time, in fact, until you have to deal with them doig as such you wouldn’t realise how often it happens.

By all means plant them in reserves and parks and what not, but not next to houses.

JoeyJoeJoe 12:36 pm 24 Jan 06

Dangerous or not, gum trees are part of the Australian landscape, and ideally suited to our climate. Advocating a scorched-earth policy for any new development is foolish and shortsighted.

On the other hand, I’m sure the SES members on this site are probably getting sick of repairing roof damage caused by gum trees every time a storm rolls through. Maybe sensible land use around a gum tree is the way to go.

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