A PAIR of 250-year-old native eucalyptus trees have been felled at Daylesford’s Victoria Park, with Hepburn Shire Council stating that they were too unsafe to remain.
A spokesperson for the council said while undertaking its annual deadwooding and pruning of trees at Victoria Park last week, ahead of the then upcoming Daylesford Motorfest and ChillOut Festival, council’s arborist determined the trees needed to be urgently removed.
Upon further inspection, council said it was discovered the trees had rotted in the middle and the rot had spread to the outer structural layers and the crown of the trees, where the tree stem meets the roots.
The two trees were removed as emergency works and have subsequently been added to council’s tree replacement program.
But some residents are not happy about the lack of community consultation in removing the park’s two iconic trees.
Gary McIntosh said the fact the works were arranged under emergency legislation rather than going through normal planning approvals for the removal of native vegetation had enraged some residents.
He believes the trunks and stumps could have been retained for important habitat as had been done previously at Victoria Park.
“It is believed one of the giant trees may have been saved and heavily pruned instead to make it safe,” he said.
“Council has recently fenced off a large Redwood at Victoria Park so one must also question why council didn’t fence off these two ancient old-growth giants in a similar manner pending proper and thorough investigation and consultation.”
Karen Monola said she was enraged at the lack of community consultation, bypassing of native vegetation legislation and disrespect for the native old-growth trees.
According to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning native vegetation “provides habitat for plants and animals and delivers a range of ecosystem services that make land more productive and contribute to human well-being”.
A permit is usually required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation in Victoria, though this is not always the cast, as the regulations are implemented through the planning schemes of local councils.
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