Tree trouble in Broadford

By Evelyn Leckie

SUGAR gum trees along High Street are causing anxiety for some Broadford residents after a large tree limb fell on a public park bench and footpath this earlier month.

Broadford resident Cedric Brown contacted Mitchell Shire Council raising his concerns about the trees after the limb fell, saying he believed they were in danger of collapsing.

“I remember these trees being planted when I was a little boy, they should never have been planted by the side of the road – they’re paddock trees,” Mr Brown said.

“The limb that hit the park bench has maimed the bench – you can see how heavy it was, it also damaged the front garden of the church.”

The retired forest officer said the large branches are falling because they’re not anchored to the heart of the tree – they’re only attached by sapwood and bark.

“It’s a danger to the community – you can see the stress fractures in the trees where the limbs will eventually fall off,” Mr Brown said.

“An elderly lady fell over walking on the footpath past these trees, she slipped on a gumnut and almost fell on her back. Another lady narrowly missed a branch falling on her too.”

“My question to council is – are you really willing to risk someone’s life or have a major injury for the next 10 years, just because one said they’re safe?”

Council said they engaged an external tree consultant in response to Mr Brown’s complaint.

“The consultant recommended to council to remove one of the trees. Council has begun the process of removal,” a council spokesperson said.

“The safety of the Mitchell Shire community is important to council. These reports help council identify the next steps and council takes this seriously.

“Council works to protect and maintain the Shire’s vast network of trees and natural sights.”