Tree removal, Belgrave

 
   
As we rightfully gear up to fight the Burnham Beeches development, smaller, less noticeable cuts are rending the flesh of the Dandenongs. Last Thursday and Friday, a mature messmate was taken down on a YRC easement on Swan Bend in Belgrave. Swan Bend is on the Burwood Highway just past Allendale Grove (where the youth services building will be demolished for the new hub) and opposite the Belgrave Tax Agents. Two members of Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group tried to have the work halted as the tree was not dead. A member of the SP Ausnet hazardous tree team was sent to speak with us but the work eventually continued because the tree had been deemed unsafe by both YRC and SP Ausnet. It was well back from the power lines and not leaning towards them. According to the arborist, if the dead branches had been removed and the live ones left it would have continued to shed branches over its lifetime making it unsafe. Isn't shedding branches what eucalypts do? We now have an ungainly stump 6 metres high and lots of wood for the thousands of wood gatherers in the Hills who love the work of tree loppers, rubbing their hands with glee and attaching their trailers as each tree comes down. At least we got the loppers to install a kookaburra and microbat nestbox on the stump - no wonder kookaburra numbers have declined by 50% over the last 10 years according to the recent Birdlife Australia survey. We also asked them to kill the ivy - sure thing lady! The remaining trees there will decline because eucs need each other for support and they are also infested with ivy. Ivy creates unhealthy conditions for these majestic trees by preventing them shedding their bark,  harbouring insect pests, competing for water and holding the tree rigid in strong winds so the tree roots snap and the tree eventually falls. These trees will become diseased so they will be removed and so it goes not death by a thousand cuts, death by a million cuts. We need an urgent audit of every mature eucalypt on Yarra Ranges Council manged land in the  Lyster Ward, just as Melbourne City Council has done with their trees.  If residents can  get to know and love their trees they will protect them  because we protect that which we love. The Dandenongs is trees.