A SECTION of Bradbury car park, Horsham is cordoned off while a tree is removed for safety reasons.
Horsham Rural City Council announced in October it would remove the large lemon-scented gum in the car park – in the block between McLachlan Street and Roberts Avenue – after limbs fell and damaged vehicles.
Arborists started removing the tree on Wednesday morning.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority Landcare program officer Ray Zippel said the tree had historical significance.
“It was all that was left of the Edna Walling garden. Before it was a car park, it was a house with a beautiful garden. A Horsham mayor once lived there,” he said.
“We wanted the council to hold fire on cutting down the tree. We’ve had a lot of people come into our offices to complain about it.”
Council’s infrastructure director John Martin said council explored every option to keep the tree, but the risk of keeping it was too great.
“The tree has been assessed twice by a council arborist and once by an independent arborist, who all recommended removal of the tree or exclusion of vehicles and pedestrians,” he said.
“Excluding pedestrians and vehicles from the area is not an option as the area required to be fenced would include up to 16 parking bays, and at least one traffic lane would also need to be closed.
“Tree cabling, in which limbs in danger of falling are tied back to the trunk, is also not likely to be effective as even the smaller limbs that have fallen from this tree – which are not suitable for cabling – are up to 100mm in diameter.
“Taking into account the height they fall from and their weight, they could cause a catastrophic incident.
“Lopping the tree to the degree necessary would damage the structural integrity of the tree and potentially create a greater risk of large parts of the tree falling.”
Mr Martin said council would replace the tree with a rose gum – a large, wide and spreading tree that would grow to between 15 metres and 25 metres in height – in autumn.
He said this would provide excellent shade for car park users in time.