A council official also told Clarke this month that “third and fourth order” falling branches are not uncommon during severe weather and are “not a valid reason for tree removal”.
Milton said local residents are willing to pay to have the tree removed and later seek a refund, but the council has yet to grant the permit “with conditions that are difficult to meet,” such as the type of replacement and location , to which he should be taken.
Several expert reports were commissioned by Milton’s Strata Committee, including one that concludes, “Its removal should be seriously considered.”
However, a community arborist inspected the tree in September 2022 and “determined that the tree was not dangerous at the time of the inspection,” the spokesman said.
He said the owners could keep the tree and make repairs, according to a 2021 engineer report they commissioned.
“The second option is to remove the tree and plant an appropriate species on the private property where there is adequate space both above and below ground for the tree to thrive,” he said.
Patrick Pagin, director of Pagin + Mak Lawyers, said residents could go to the Land and Environmental Court, which has a tree disputes division, for an order to prune or remove the tree if it is on private property.
He said the court would need evidence the tree posed a hazard, as well as a report from an arborist recommending pruning or removal.
Tree Protection follows calls from councilors across Sydney for tougher penalties for illegal tree felling. Local councilors also say efforts to plant more trees to combat heatwaves have been undermined by the illegal removal of healthy trees on private property.
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