Citizens and visitors adore Belmore Park’s ancient trees: the Lady Belmore oak tree alone is 149 years old.
But it seems some of the park’s trees are falling apart and may be unsafe, so at least three of the iconic trees will be removed, following the approval of a report at last Tuesday’s Goulburn Mulwaree Council meeting.
A report to that meeting by business manager of community facilities Robert Hughes, which was carried by councillors, recommended the removal of certain elm trees from the park.
The report comes after the “failure of an elm tree” and concerns that up to eight of the large trees have serious structural issues that require proper attention.
High winds in Belmore Park in March 2016 felled one elm tree that in turn crushed a public art work on loan, a giant pink snail, in an absurdist twist.
One of the trees (called D3 in the report) needs to be removed “due to the presence of decay that was addressed by filling the cavity with concrete and also has a major defect in the main fork (striations) that indicate an internally propagating crack, which in turn indicates a very high potential to fail,” the report said.
“Another tree (E1) should be removed due to the large split forming in the trunk, which has a high potential for failure.
“Tree I5 should also be removed due to the large split forming in the trunk, which has a high potential for failure in a strong storm event.”
The report also called for the removal of the decomposed granite from around the Lady Belmore oak tree (planted in 1869) within the brickwork circle surrounding the tree, and for this to be replaced with a quality mulch to assist in reducing compaction.
“Belmore Park currently consists of 80 trees, comprising 27 large mature trees, seven medium-sized trees, and 29 smaller trees, many of which were installed as replacements when older trees were removed,” the report said.
The report recommended a suitably qualified arborist be engaged to inspect the trees and develop an action plan.
“This would include options for crown remediation works, weight reduction, staged removal (if applicable) and a replacement strategy,” the report said.
The full report is in the Goulburn Mulwaree Council Meeting August 7 agenda at Item 12.14.