THE standoff over a Hamilton Hill tree that predates white settlement indicates the shortfall of our planning policies to protect natural heritage.
The Healy Road tree, which is estimated to be 200 years old, is facing the chainsaws because its root structure will affect the construction of a residential development on the block next door.
Council approved the development and only now has it realised the risk to the tree, which is surely part of the area’s history.
Trees are only added to the significant tree register when they come under threat and this ad hoc management of irreplaceable heritage is clearly failing decision makers.
Further, without firm guidelines councils’ ability to prevent tree removal is limited.
As urban infill becomes an increasingly attractive option for developers, we must stop to think what we are removing from our landscape that cannot be replaced in our lifetimes.