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    Wednesday 17 March 2010

    Replacement of Hills Fig Trees in Beacon Cove

    BCNA: Replacement of Hills Fig Trees in Beacon Cove

    Letter to BCNA Members

    Dear BCNA Members,

    This note is to offer some guidance in responding to City letters last week on the replacement of Hills Fig trees in certain streets of Beacon Cove. All members are included in our note since the large number of tree changes will impact the overall urban landscape of the neighbourhood.

    The City has decided that the actual and potential damage from tree roots necessitates the removal of the well established Hills Figs from Beacon Cove. The Committee attempt to consult with City officers on the alternative of managing the tree canopy and utilising root guards etc has been decided to be uneconomic and the City has taken the issue out of the hands of BCNA. What is left for residents is to influence the new species of trees and the process of when and how gradual the removal and replacement takes place.

    The streets affected and subject to current letters are as follows:

    Swallow Street
    The Crescent
    Park Square
    ( tree changes here will be staged over time, not as indicated in letters that all will be cut out immediately)

    In Beacon Vista the trees around the small central park will be removed and replaced shortly (with Manchurian Pears) and all at one time as a result of a petition on damage from directly affected residents.

    Your Committee is making the comments below for you to consider in your response to the identification of your preference from the proposed replacement species. You are encouraged to record Comments on the back of your Voting Slip.

    • Beacon Cove was developed as a neighbourhood of planned and consistent urban design. This also flowed into the landscape. The survey of residents for the Planning Scheme Amendment overwhelmingly required existing covenants to be translated into planning rules for CoPP to maintain the original design concepts.

    • The Hills Fig trees are probably the dominant species in the development and when replaced it would maintain the linkage if there was only one or at a maximum two species introduced into the streetscape. For example you could suggest to the City that you would like the tree selection for your street to be the same as for the other streets.

    • If all of the trees identified for removal are taken out at one time there will be a stark reduction in shade and greenery in the community. Staging will help soften the blow. The proposed two year staging by the City appears to be too quick and an alternative can be suggested by all affected residents.

    • One alternative is to remove 1 in 3 trees in year 1. Then dependent on how the replacement trees grow (they are initially only 1.5 metres tall), the second stage for the next 1 in 3 trees could take place when the initial replacements have reached a height of say 4.5 metres. Then the third stage could take place when the second replacements have reached the 4.5 metres height.

    • If you have a strong desire to keep your Hills Fig tree for a longer time then you should identify this in your answer to the City and they may allocate you to a later stage and not the initial one.

    • Any and all replacement trees will need City commitment to maintenance on a regular basis as these trees are on nature strips and common land. If this is done we should not be faced with the situation we are facing now.

    We would appreciate any feedback of the responses provided by you to the City.


    Eddie Micallef President 0413 127 422

    Trevor Nink Secretary 0404 084 283