No plane sailing

Pretty, but the cracks are showing.


COCKBURN council is once again pulling roots with the community over what to do about the city’s infamous London plane trees.

The trees’ future was questioned late last year after a request from a member of the public to include London planes on the council’s significant tree register was denied.

The list indicates a record 

of places or things that are of important cultural heritage, significance or history, specific to the Cockburn area.

The request was supported with claims that the plane trees along Dean Road in Jandakot are “aesthetically pleasing and a major contribution to the landscape” and that many have chosen 

to live along Dean Road after 

“being impressed by the majestic London Plane trees lining the entranceway”.

The reality of living next to London plane trees was somewhat different for some Dean Road residents, with one showing the Herald damage to their property from rogue tree roots.  

“They are inappropriate trees for the area. The council re-layed my driveway pavers just two weeks ago and already they are raising again due to the roots,” the resident said.

The council installs root guards to protect properties and driveways, but as the trees roots are one-and-a-half times the length of the 25 metre high tree, tripping hazards and ongoing cost repairs for the council have surfaced.

Residents also told The Herald that the seed-packed fruiting balls of the trees have been known 

to cause allergies and flare up asthma.  

London Plane trees are 

not native trees to Australia, originating in Eurasia, North America and Mexico. 

“They have no flora or fauna benefit. The Glen Iris Golf Course up the road has gumtrees full of cockatoos. There are never any birds in London planes,” another resident said. 

Cockburn councillor Chontelle Stone seconded the council’s decision to deny the request 

for plane trees to be deemed significant.

“The issue comes up year after year and not just about these trees specifically. London planes are not considered significant, but if they were removed, it would take another 20 years to get canopy cover,” Cr Stone said.

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