Tree threat to homes

Tree threat to homes

Bethany Kinners, Leyton Kinners and Dylan Reid are concerned ageing trees in Byford are threatening people and homes. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Residents are frustrated with the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale after large tree branches it refused to trim back began falling near homes during heavy winds this week.

Denver and Marie Reid and their daughter Bethany Kinners said they have been calling on the Shire for years to have several large eucalyptus trees near their Kokoda Boulevard home trimmed, fearing their branches could cause serious damage if they snapped.

The Reid’s fears were confirmed on Monday when heavy winds brought at least one branch down, narrowly missing a car being driven on the street, according to their daughter Bethany Kinners.

The near-miss came only one week after another branch fell from a separate tree, nearly falling on the home of an elderly, handicapped resident.

Ms Kinners said her parents had talked and met with Shire representatives, but had not had any luck convincing them the trees were dangerous.

“The trees are giant – around 35 metres tall,” she said.

“We love nature and the trees too, but not when they are dangling over and threatening our homes.”

Ms Kinners said other residents were concerned about the danger posed by the trees, which the Shire told her were over 100-years-old, and some people had even started considering moving away from the area to safer ground.

In response to inquiries Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale president Michelle Rich said an independent consultant had been contracted to inspect the trees, and the Shire hoped to receive their feedback soon.

“Last week and prior to the recent storm activity the Shire took action to further investigate the structural safety of these trees by engaging an independent arborist who will recommend whether additional management is required,” she said.

“We are currently monitoring these particular trees and, in addition to regular maintenance, have taken further action to remove branches damaged during recent storms.

“Because trees are so important to local streetscapes, it is appropriate that any decision to remove them or reduce their canopy cover is made in consultation with expert arborists.”

Ms Rich said the Shire expected the report to be delivered by the end of January and would relay its results to residents once it had been reviewed.