Another media release




 Mike Ellison, the well-known UK arborist who recently assessed the Laman Street figs for Save Our Figs Inc, has responded angrily to a memo from Newcastle City Council’s Director of Liveable Cities about his report.

‘Newcastle City Council has once again embarrassed itself in the eyes of the arboricultural world’, said Dr Caity Raschke. ‘They continue to claim that they have proved that the Laman Street trees are dangerous, but how many people really believe this? Mr Ellison joins a long line of experts who remain unconvinced, as does most of Newcastle.’

Dr Raschke went on to say, ‘In response to Council’s bleats about ‘extensive’ investigation and ‘trenching’, which in my opinion would have to be one of the most inaccurate ways imaginable to investigate trees, and RADAR which actually showed roots but was apparently hidden by Council,  Mr Ellison has sensibly said:

‘…the Council’s assertion that the root-plates of the trees are asymmetrical is founded on a very limited investigation, which excavated to depths of just below one metre on one side of the trees only. How this investigation can be used to justify the Council’s statement that the trees have ‘severely restricted root plates’ or asymmetrical root-plates eludes me.’

Mr Ellison makes the point that ‘the Council’s ‘Case Studies’ document, … is nothing more than a record of tree failures, …and … the records have no value in informing consideration of the Laman Street trees. This document is a catalogue of assumptions.

‘…I [feel obliged to mention] the quoted statistics of historical tree failure … for no reason other than the Council might infer that I accept them. I do not. I find it disturbing that those affected by the proposed removal of the Laman Street fig trees might bebamboozled by Mr Cordingley’s interpretation of my report.’

Fee Mozeley from Save Our Figs said ‘I note that Council claims an astounding number of figs has failed in recent years – this is because they are calling any tree that’s been cut down as a failure – it has to be asked if once again they are bringing  the proud profession of arboriculture into disrepute.

‘It remains impractical to remove these trees for so many reasons, but mainly because Council’s investigations would appear to have been done to justify tree removal rather than to save this city from an alleged traffic hazard – a proposal that remains bizarre and unbelievable.

‘They should take advantage of international experts’ knowledge rather than simply dismissing them.’


And to highlight differences in tree management approaches, read this story about Randwick Court fining a resident $19 000 for cutting a tree root. Imagine if Newcastle City Council were to take itself to court for tree root damage in Jenner Pde, Swan St, western Laman St, ?Smith St in Hamilton South, Darby Street, eastern Laman Street, Tyrrell Street – etc etc etc.

The cost of the vandalism plans for Laman Street would be paid for in no time. Home


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3 Responses to “Another media release”

  1. Doug Lithgow Says:

    Another great news release.

    But you fail to include the essential fact about the difference in the risk calculations between Mike Ellison the international expert and the City Council the dunce of the class. This is the point that must be driven home on every opportunity.

    Mike Ellison 1in 2 million (No problem) no need to remove on grounds of danger what is Council wanting to do in Laman Street?

    City Council 1 in 19.8 ( Figs more dangerous than a speeding motor car) a hazard to traffic must be removed.

    There must be a review and correction of the Council’s calculations.
    Intransigent councillors must stay back after Council meetings and write out 100 times ” I must always review my calculations and correct my errors”.

  2. mei aow Says:

    Ha well said Doug

  3. Terry McCauley Says:

    I love the idea for intransigent Councillor’s homework. Can they start RIGHT NOW, bugger waiting for the next Council meeting!

    Luv it, luv it, absolutely luv it!

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