Senseless felling of old Jarrah

Very few Jarrahs of this size exist now in the Perth urban area…

Today I went to visit the site a few minutes from me where a Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) possibly 500 years old or more, was felled for no good reason. This tree was nearly 2m in diameter at its widest point….that is over 6m around the base! It was a giant. Very few jarrahs of this size exist now in the Perth urban area….and I would say even in the world. This was a living link with the time of only indigenous occupation of this country.

Local residents who discovered the contractors cutting this awesome tree to the ground

Local residents who discovered the contractors cutting this awesome tree to the ground.

I met with the person who discovered the contractors cutting this awesome tree to the ground. I must say…it all sounds very dodgy and I’m afraid this practice is all too common in locations that are proposed for future development in WA. I’ve now seen it many, many times and I’m fed up.

Yes, the tree had bees in the hollows, however, these could have been removed without too much difficulty. I measured the approximate height of the tree…around 22 metres at best. Distance to the nearest fence or footpath around 24 metres. Even if it failed at the base it would not have made direct impact with anybody. It resides in a bush-land corridor where very few people would walk..and to top it off, at the base it the heartwood was almost defect free.

Yes, the tree was in decline as you would expect for a tree of this age….it is possible that the health of the tree had been previously impacted from construction of nearby houses and the road…but it was battling on.

This tree was nearly 2m in diameter at its widest point

This tree was nearly 2m in diameter at its widest point.

I’ve seen the main roads statement, and the arborist ‘report’….no arborist in his right mind conducting a risk assessment of this tree based on internationally recognised methods would ever condemn it. I can say this as I’ve learnt and become qualified and licensed in these methods.

This is senseless and begs the question as to the real reason this tree was condemned. People must be made accountable for this…….we, as members of this community, need to get tough on this. Perth has changed for the worse over the past 12 years I have been here…the green spaces and trees are disappearing fast, the water is drying up rapidly, our houses are getting bigger, our blocks of land smaller, our urban area hotter…this is all leading to a decline in our quality of life and will result in increased hospitalisations due to heat-related illness and reduced mental well-being.

We need trees and trees now need us…

Dr Paul Barber, ArborCarbon

 

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