Southern Grampians Shire Council Logo
Skip Links

End of an Era as Trees Removed from Gardens

11 May 2017

Work will commence early next week to remove two damaged trees from the Hamilton Botanic Gardens.

The heritage listed Oak tree (Quercus Robur) near the toilet block and the large Cypress near the Kennedy and French Street gates have been barricaded off for some time after suffering major and irreparable damage.

The Oak Tree is the largest specimen of its kind in Victoria. In November, the tree was found to have suffered a large split in the fork near the base of the main trunk heading down towards the base of the tree. The split affected two large boughs, both of which contained considerable weight of leaves and timber. Weight reduction took place to mitigate the risk posed by the split and the area around the tree was fenced off to ensure public safety, while Council awaited the outcome of further testing.

Ultrasound testing on the tree trunk undertaken in December showed significant internal damage. It also revealed that the split had extended almost to the base of the tree meaning it was structurally weak and therefore a significant safety risk.

The Cypress tree was found to have developed a very large split in the trunk in February. Remedial work was undertaken but an arborist assessment determined removal was the most suitable course of action.

Council CEO Michael Tudball says removing the two large trees is disappointing but necessary.
“The loss of these large trees is significant for the Gardens and for our community. The location of the Oak tree provides a spectacular entrance from the CBD and its canopy is a defining feature of the Thompson Street end of the Gardens. The Cypress is also a very large specimen” Mr Tudball said.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that these trees do have a lifespan and public safety in the gardens is our highest priority”.

“We have taken some time before removing them as we wanted to be sure about what they would be replaced with and we have consulted with Heritage Victoria to make this decision” Mr Tudball said.

The Oak tree will be replaced with a White Oak (Quercus Alba) and the Cypress will be replaced with another Cypress (Hesperocyparis macnabiana). Both trees will be planted as soon as possible after the removal of the existing trees, and as close as possible to the original location.

Work to remove the trees will begin on Monday 15 May and, weather permitting, is expected to be complete by Friday 19 May.

Powered by