Trees removed on Eastern Avenue following gale force winds

30 October 2013

The University took the difficult decision to remove several trees from Eastern Avenue this week after a Sydney red gum tree fell without warning during the heavy gales that hit Sydney on Tuesday.

Nobody was injured and no property was damaged when the tree fell at the City Road end of Eastern Avenue, but the University's Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS) team moved quickly to create a safety perimeter for pedestrian movements around the affected area.

CIS also called in an expert to inspect other trees on Eastern Avenue amid concerns other trees could fall without warning in the stormy conditions, with the potential to cause serious injury.

"The aborist's inspection revealed that several other trees were suffering from a type of rot that had seriously weakened them," said Steve Sullivan, Facilities Management and Services Divisional Manager in CIS.

"The extreme wind conditions compounded the risk of the affected trees falling, which left the arborist with no alternative but to recommend their immediate removal."

Steve is responsible for a team of around 20 staff from CIS who maintain around 4000 trees and almost 96 hectares of grounds across the University's campuses.

"We were really disappointed to have to remove these trees, but we acted on expert advice and the safety of our students, staff and visitors to our campus must come first."

The CIS team will now carry out pathology tests on trees and soil removed from the site, and also analyse the planting pits before planting new trees.

"The University is committed to supporting a 'green environment' on campus," said Steve. "Over the past six years we have planted 360 trees on campus, and as part of our future plans we are developing ways to increase our campus tree canopy and to improve landscape biodiversity."

For more information contact Steve Sullivan, Campus Infrastructure and Services.

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