Nature Strips Stripped of Nature

Filed in Feature, Just In by August 15, 2019

LAST week three trees on Main Street, next to the Council offices in Scone, were chopped down in a shroud of community confusion and yesterday six more trees on Kingdon Street, near the Uniting Church were cleared.

Sue Abbott, self-confessed tree hugger said she wasn’t informed as a Councillor trees were being chopped down and she shared the community’s concerns.

Trees chopped down on Main Street, Scone.

“People started sending me text messages and photos, I had no idea why it was happening,” said Ms Abbott.

“Someone said it was because they were near the Lone Pine at Council, but the pine looked quite healthy so I’m still not sure why,” she said.

“It’s now so bare and will be terrible in summer time,” she said.

“They are part of the lungs of the town and I’m a massive tree hugger, so I was at a loss,” Sue Abbott said.

While Ms Abbott was trying to find out why the trees on Main Street had been cut down, six more trees on Kingdon Street were given the chop yesterday.

Trees on Kingdon Street, being ripped out today. Photo: Bev Atkinson.

Bev Atkinson, Scone resident and retired architect, contacted Council and was told it was because guttering in Kindgon Street needed to be replaced, but she questions Council’s antiquated approach to guttering, explaining there were new techniques which were better for managing storm water and better for trees on the footpath.

“They found that with disturbed or cracked gutters they served to do two major things, which is water any trees on the nature strip and they reduce the speed of the water surge in storms, so less water goes into the drainage system,” said Ms Atkinson.

“In Paddington they worked out if they drilled holes through the gutters it slowed the flow and watered the trees,” she said. 

Michael Mobbs drilled holes on one side of his street near the trees and the trees grew well and less storm surge was measured and the water goes into the roots, so the trees were no longer heaving the gutter up to get water and the pipes weren’t being burst in the older parts of Sydney where they did this,” she said.

“Even gutters with joints near the trees work effectively too,” she said.

“The idea that we can’t take that on here seems a little bit strange, especially since we are concerned the minute it rains here that we get flooding down the bottom,” she said.

“Instead we have western Sydney style gutters which pour water very fast and gather it from a bigger concrete surface,” she said.

“We have really wide streets in Scone and in Kingdon Street it would make little difference putting the new gutter out by one or two feet to retain the perfectly healthy trees; that allows both a new gutter and the trees,” she said.

“It is a publicly used area giving onto church and sports areas; so a wider grass path would have been welcome,” she said. 

“More trees could have been added, growing easily with extra space,” she said.

“They are a small species, suitable for the street and colourful in autumn and the only summer shade in the street, now all gone.

“Before they pour the concrete, they should think again,” Bev Atkinson said.

Update: Council Apologises for Pruning Trees.

Established and healthy trees on Kingdon Street being removed yesterday. Photo: Bev Atkinson.

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