Council urged to remove trees located on Keith's Dugan Street

TROUBLESOME TREES: Trees on Dugan Street, Keith, will need to be removed and replaced after fears of future damage they may cause.
TROUBLESOME TREES: Trees on Dugan Street, Keith, will need to be removed and replaced after fears of future damage they may cause.

A number of troublesome trees on Keith's Dugan Street has forced Tatiara District Council to take action and replace them with a more suitable species.

Council received two requests from locals to remove the street trees along Dugan Street due to their size and risk of damage to infrastructure.

After a recent complaint regarding the state of the footpath adjacent to Dugan Street, council staff attended to carry out repairs.

Upon inspection, a large root from the adjacent London Plane tree was found just under the surface causing damage to the kerb and paved footpath.

Workers removed the troublesome root, along with replacing a section of the kerb and re-levelling and re-laying the paved footpath.

Director of infrastructure and operations Aaron Hillier suggested if council decided to remove the current trees and plant more suitable species, it would likely cost around $16,000.

"This has not been allowed for in the existing budget. There is likely to be a reduction in ongoing infrastructure maintenance costs if more suitable trees are planted," Mr Hillier said.

Mr Hillier also said if council elects to do nothing, there will be increased costs in the future due to infrastructure damage.

"The extent is difficult to predict, however, there is potential for significant cost to repair kerb, footpath, spoon drains, road pavement and property damage as a result of the trees," Mr Hillier said.

Council has received two written notifications from the owner or occupier of the property adjacent to the road, expressing their concerns about potential damage to infrastructure caused by the trees.

Mr Hillier said since they have received a formal request, council is therefore required to take reasonable action in response to the request.

"Failing to take this action could increase council's liability in the event that damage is caused by the trees in the future," Mr Hillier said.

He also mentioned due to the trees being located in dangerous positions, the council will need to find professionals to undertake the job.

"The trees are located in close vicinity of power lines. Suitably qualified people are required to carry out removal of these trees," Mr Hillier said.

After speaking to an arborist, it has been recommended the council remove the current trees and plant more suitable species.

"The proposed replacement trees, Manchurian Pears are deciduous and will drop additional leaves on the roadside," Mr Hillier said.

"There is a minor risk these will block gutters which could potential cause drainage issues. Council's current street sweeping regimes will maintain this risk at minor."

At the latest meeting, councillors recommended they allocate $16,000 in the 2019/20 budget to remove the three London Plane and three Cedar trees on Dugan Street and replace them with Manchurian Pears.