London plane tree to get the chop

Brendan Rees

A large London plane tree in Kensington will be removed and replaced with a different species after it was deemed a risk to public safety by the City of Melbourne.

The council said an independent consulting arborist recommended the removal of the single tree on Eastwood St after decay and insect damage were identified in the trunk.

Kensington is renowned for boasting leafy streets, but the council confirmed “this is the only tree at this location that is planned for removal at this stage” and a “tree will be replanted in the same location next planting season”.

“The City of Melbourne plants more than 3000 trees each year and has a target of doubling the canopy cover in the municipality by 2040,” a City of Melbourne spokesperson said, adding that it removed around 800 trees each year for various reasons, including decline and risk to public safety.

“We are currently planting a range of different tree species that will improve the urban forests’ resilience to changes in climate.”

Resident Kerry Mullan said although it was a “shame” the tree had to be removed, she understood safety was a priority.

“If it needs to go I suppose it needs to go. It’s a shame, I wouldn’t want to take any more out,” she said.

Another resident Michelle said she hoped the leafy character of the street would be kept, saying “it’s a beautiful aspect of the whole community” •

Caption: The London plane tree in Kensington which will be chopped by the council.

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