Leave plane trees alone

Residents disappointed: council won't prune problem

TIME TO TAKE ACTION: Residents like Brian Torpy want Rowan Street’s plane trees pruned to arrest the problems they cause for houses in the area. PHOTO: Cheryl Browne

ROWAN Street residents battling the effect of plane trees on their homes have been left disappointed by the Rural City of Wangaratta.

A petition from 12 residents citing issues with the build-up of leaves and fibres from the trees’ pods, as well as health and safety problems, went to council last week.

Residents hoped council would move to prune the trees, which were last lopped about 40 years ago, to end their frustration over blocked guttering, downpipes and street gutters.

But a report to council said lopping was not advisable, as it would only be a temporary measure to reduce the problems identified, and may impact the health of the trees .

Instead, council will inspect the brick-lined drain along Rowan Street more often during the autumn period.

And residents will also be assisted by council picking up and disposing of leaves that have been raked into piles on the nature strip in autumn .

Resident Marilyn Torpy said the outcome is disappointing.

“They (council) would collect the leaves from time to time anyway, so it doesn’t appear they are going to do anything different,” she said

Mrs Torpy disputed the description in the council report, which referred to the trees being “significant to the streetscape along Rowan Street”.

She said the trees were certainly not as significant as the avenue of trees in Bright.

And she said residents were also disappointed by the inference in the report that their concerns were not as important as the 8500 vehicles travelling down Rowan Street each day.

“The number of residents who experience the streetscape along this section of Rowan Street is considerably more than the number of residents whose properties front this section of road,” the report stated.

“If council were to determine to further investigate the lopping of the trees in this section of Rowan Street, then a broader consultation process would be required to also obtain the views of the wider community who travel along the street.”

Mrs Torpy said she had been contacted by two local residents, one further down Rowan Street and another in Meldrum Street, who raised similar concerns about the plane trees near their homes, after an article about the Rowan Street residents’ petition appeared in the Wangaratta Chronicle.

“If other people have issues with the trees, I’d encourage them to contact council or advise us what to do,” she said.

 

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