Casey Council to Remove Gum Trees in Timbarra and Replace With More Appropriate Trees

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We are residents and ratepayers of the City of Casey. I would like to have included the word “happy” in that description, but alas, that is not the case.
We moved into our new home in Timbarra 3 years ago. One significant enticement to move into this area was the apparent amenity rendered by the presence of beautiful trees. The gardens of the house we purchased had just been replanted, the lawns were lush, there was a fantastic swimming pool and the paths were clean. It seemed the idyllic place to raise our family. But before too long the reality of the situation set in. Those beautiful gum trees overhanging the swimming
pool soon unloaded bark, twigs and leaves in such volumes as to make it unusable. The recently manicured garden and lawns became unrecognisable due to the layer of leaves and bark. The lawns died off. The gutters blocked up. The house we were so proud off was becoming a nightmare. Not because of lack of reasonable
maintenance. It was because of need of constant (and unreasonable) maintenance. With a young family and two jobs, we were unable to perform constant upkeep required. So we asked the council for help in cutting back the trees. And got brushed off. Then a large branch came off the tree across the road falling onto the footpath and road. By the grace of God, no-one was hurt.

  • And still the council considered that this was reasonable and safe and adds to the amenity of the area.
  • And that dead front lawns and nature strips covered in bark and twigs add to the amenity of the area.
  • And that moss and mildew due to large damp shaded areas add to the amenity of the area.
  • And blocked and overflowing gutters add to the amenity of the area.
  • And that residents tripping over pavements where the roots of large gum trees are lifting the footpath adds to the amenity of the area.

So, are we being unreasonable in our expectations? Let’s see what the councils own guidelines say. From the council website link:
Caseys-Trees- Princples-for- Managing-Trees- in-Casey- Parks-Reserves- Version-11

Page 2 of 4 ” ………respect that residents need to be able to live without undue impact on their property, sense of safety and enjoyment of their home and locality.”

Page 2 of 4 “There are instances where trees are having a negative impact on residents. Where this is the case consideration will be given to remove these trees. These instances will be where large trees have been planted adjacent to private property, a number of large trees have been planted on standard nature strips or
there is excessive fruit or nut drop.”

Page 3 of 4 “A large tree that is planted in a small location is unlikely to grow to its full potential. This large tree also has the possibility to impact on adjoining residents and surrounding infrastructure such as footpaths and private property.
It is acknowledged that some trees have been planted in the wrong location and need to be replaced. The listing of species to be planted in a standard residential nature strip has been reviewed to only include small species. Larger tree species will continue to be planted in large nature strips along wide arterial roads and in parks and reserves.”

But, during the various communications we have had with council representatives, we have clearly been advised that the trees are appropriate, safe, and are in line with council guidelines.
So, are we out of step?

If so, then perhaps the previous Deputy Mayor of Casey was also: Deputy Mayor Mick Morland welcomed the move. “We don’t want any more problems of the Timbarra Estate type,” Cr Morland said. “We already have to come to grips with forest gums keeping the front yards of some properties in permanent shade and making gardening close to impossible.” Council focus groups since the survey have stated a clear preference for medium-size trees in both narrow and medium-width streets and large trees in wider streets. But they also stressed the importance of planting the right type of trees in each location.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/gum-tree-which-shed-branch-and-killed-child-was-unstable-coroner-told/news-story/fa6850a458b45b8f66907d77a305f6a4

So let’s also look at another document on the subject:
Casey-Trees- Guide-Version- 21-Parks- Reserves

Section 3 – Tree Guide Objectives

"Providing criteria for the selection of trees for planting in streets and parklands that provides a more liveable approach for the residents of the City.
Selecting, planting, and maintaining trees appropriately to maximize their benefits and liveability for residents."

But not in Timbarra…….

Section 4 – Tree Guide Information
"In a standard residential nature strip a small tree species will be planted."

So, in summary, all we ask is that council follow their own guidelines (Casey-Trees- Guide-Version- 21-Parks-Reserves – Section 6) by removing the inappropriate and non-complying large trees immediately adjacent to fencelines and on the nature strips. And as a corollary of that also remove the non complying trees in the
immediate area and replant trees in compliance with Casey-Trees- Guide-Version- 21-Parks- Reserves -Section 4.

City of Casey, we look forward to your response.

Yours, 

The Residents of Timbarra Estate



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