She gone

• A Sheaok tree removed from Port Coogee Marina by Cockburn council. Photo by Denise Mitchell

COCKBURN council could be set to remove Sheoak trees from city streets.

After several years of complaints from residents about Sheoaks being unsightly and damaging infrastructure at beachside apartments in Port Coogee, the council has decided to remove them and replace them with olive trees and other council-approved species.

The Sheoaks trees were originally planted by Port Catherine Developments about seven years ago to shade the footpath at apartments overlooking the beach, but residents wanted them replaced with low lying shrubs and ground cover.

In September 2017 Cockburn city officers stated the trees were an “extra maintenance burden within the streetscape”, due to roots lifting carpark pavements and kerbs.

Cockburn council says the Sheaok contradict their 2016 street tree master plan, but wouldn’t say if that meant they would remove all 209 Sheoaks listed on their street tree inventory, or if ratepayers are only paying for the removal of those in Port Coogee.

“…removal and disposal costs will be in accordance with the city’s tendered schedule of rates,” said council parks manager Anton Lees.

“Replacement trees will be subject to tendered rates for tree planing and current market value”.

Local Denise Mitchell says she’d asked the council numerous times to remove a Sheoak tree from her old house in Coogee, “due to the overhang and nuts falling onto a sloped driveway causing falls,” but they didn’t take any action.

“Seems like their decisions are a little one-sided,” she says. “We were happy to pay for removal and replacement.

“No win for the trees in this one. They are chopped and removed. Guess council gets what council wants.”

There are about 61 Sheoak street trees in North Coogee.

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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