Councillor claims six arborists have assessed Laman Street trees


Gorgeous veteran native

There have been quite a few newspaper articles this week about Laman Street and the proposed charette.

One of them was in The Star and quoted both Ian MacKenzie (who spoke to Council in December about all the advantages of the trees that need to be considered so that one isn’t consumed by talk of possible tree failure) and Councillor Brad Luke who voted against the rescission motion ie is prepared to remove the trees.

If you double-click on the article you’ll be able to read it.

I was extremely interested to read Councillor Luke saying that six arborists have said these trees are unsafe. I don’t get out much but I have read the guff information on council’s website about how the fig trees are going to bring about the end of civilisation as we know it dangerous these trees are supposed to be and talked to lots of people and six is at least double what I’ve heard.

I don’t like not having all the information at hand so I sent the following email to Councillor Luke:

Dear Mr Luke,
I have just read your comments in The Star of Feb 10th, ‘Council decides on workshop’.
I’d like to say that I completely agree with you that the Laman Street workshop is a waste of money. My take on this, of course, is that the street is perfect and should be left alone other than to increase maintenance of the trees.
I was interested to read you quoted as saying, ‘We’ve had six arborists tell us that these trees need to be removed because of safety risks.’ Would these be the same arborists who said that the trees halfway up Tyrrell Street were unsafe?
I would be grateful for further information on who the six arborists are that you mention in the article so that I can read copies of their reports. If you could let me know who they were or let me know that you have passed this on to a council officer who can help me I would be grateful.
I’m aware that Dennis Marsden has assessed the trees and I’ve read his report: he said one needs to be removed straight away and he expects the rest to last 5 to 15 years. His brief was to assess the trees and to look at how to maintain the trees for as long as possible. His report completely failed to do the latter which in my view almost negates the worth of the remainder of his investigation. 
I believe this assessment needs to be looked at again by an entirely different arborist with a reputation for tree preservation and that money should be spent on maintaining the trees to extend their life beyond 5 to 15 years. Another opinion would set us back much less than the cost of the ‘charette’.
I have heard that Treelogic have been to Newcastle and looked at our trees but this has not to my knowledge been made public: perhaps it should be. Is this organisation another of the six? Their own website talks about how trying to predict tree failure is like trying to get a doctor to predict when you will die; and their organisation held a seminar and using QTRA showed how uncertain its results are: 12 different opinions among 150 arborists and 4 trees.
Perhaps another is Phil Hewett: I would be interested to see the report he must then have written about how he decided that the trees needed to go.
I’ve attached a photo of the Cultural Centre without its tree cover and Concord Hospital to which it bears an eerie resemblance. Being hidden by trees is obviously its ideal state.
If you could let me know or have a council officer contact me about who the six are I would be grateful. I will then be able to proceed to get copies of their reports.
Yours faithfully,
Caity Raschke

You have to see the photos: Concord looks nicer – guess why? It has trees in front of it.It’s also bendy but we won’t go there.      Home


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