Council cops criticism after fig trees were trimmed

Believed to have been planted in the 1890s, the majestic old Moreton Bay Figs around the CBD area were trimmed last week in an effort to keep the trees healthy. The work was carried out by a professional arborist employed by Cobar Shire Council.

Cobar Shire Council copped a lot of criti-cism last week after a number of trees, in-cluding our ancient Morton Bay Fig trees in the CBD, were given a trim and others were cut down.
A number of disgruntled residents took to social media to express their displeasure at what they saw as unnecessary maintenance while one resident, Linda Carter, took her concerns directly to council.
Mrs Carter said she had a quick response from council staff who assured her it was only a trim of overhanging branches and deadwood.
Council’s general manager Peter Vlatko advised The Cobar Weekly they had engaged professional arborists (who know how to look after trees) to check a number of trees, with the view of preserving the majestic figs.
He said after receiving expert advice, the fig tree on the corner of Marshall and Linsley streets (the IGA corner) will have to undergo further ‘trimming’.
“While we understand this is sad to see, we have been working on saving this tree for some time now,” Mr Vlatko explained.
Council recently upgraded the planter box surrounding the tree in an effort to encourage healthy growth.
“We also installed a watering system at the same time. This has seen positive root growth, which is what we are aiming for.
“Unfortunately, we do need to undertake more trimming, and it will likely look a little unpleasant for some time, but the advice re-ceived is that there is still an unhealthy amount of dead wood, and some limbs are rotted out completely.
“Our aim is to encourage fresh growth, and Council, as much as everyone,want to keep this tree and watch it flourish for many years to come. Hopefully this final step, allows this,” Mr Vlatko explained.
He said one of the old gum trees on the foot-path at Drummond Park was cut down due to some electrical upgrade work needing to be carried out and the roots of the tree were going to interfere with the work.
“For every one tree we are cutting down, we’re planting 10 or 20 more,” Mr Vlatko said.
“Our plan is to also plant more appropriate trees.”