澳洲Australia property Huge Huge Strong healthy Elm tree in back


在澳大利亚 I need some advice regarding a property purchase. Property - semi-detached house Bedrooms - 2 Condition - average needs internal reno to modernise Street - one of the best in suburb Location - excellent Close to schools - yes Transport - 50m The pool at of an IP needs to be resurfaced (or so the pool doctor says), the cost was estimated to be $10K ($10,000), after recoverying from my impresssion of a cat coughing up a fur ball, it just seems far too much. Its just a standard poo


Hi

I have a massive tree in my backyard which is causing a lot of headache and grief. Crazy $$$ on cleaning the backyard, $$ in cleaning gutters and Birds sit on it and poo on my cloths line... Nightmare situation

Back in Nov 2009, i applied for a permit to knock this down and council vegetation officer (Kingston in Vicotria) rejected it. I am super pis#$ off with the outcome.

What are my options??? Got couple of tree specialist come in to inspect and they said we could do it in a dodgy way i.e. Drill the hole in the branch, put liquid and plug the hole back, he suggested Copper Nails etc.

The only catch is he wants to do it cash-in-hand. Reading at one of the posts on SS, the fine could be upto $18K. CRAZY

What is the most effective way to survive council and remove the tree;)

Please advise. Someone suggested to write a leetter directly to the councillor..

Can someone share their letter ( if they have done that in the past)  

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1) why get rid of a gorgeous big tree? a huge tree like that would add value, i would have thought.
2) move the clothesline - cheaper.
3) $$$ cleaning a yard? a rake is $20 and you "find your thirty".
4) $$$ cleaning gutters? a ladder and a saturday morning every few months is not exactly a "nightmare situation".  

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Aaron, your detailed response was way too practical.

Ya gotta run with the "complete nightmare" painted picture a bit more mate.  

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Did you not notice the tree in the yard when you bought the property?

Huge strong healthy Elms in Melbourne, plus all other little Elms, are on a register I believe and are much revered, as they should be. They are magnificent trees. So if you can see your tree on Nearmaps then you can bet your baby bunting booties that Kingston council is fully aware of it. Should it cark it, then they will, will, investigate and you will be fined because it is easy-peasy for arborists to find out what killed an Elm tree.

Learn to live with it and love it for the treasure that it is.  

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Turn it into a residential property.

Here are some ideas:

http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Hometree

http://www.thetoyzone.com/2009/blog/20-awe-inspiring-tree-houses/

http://www.starwarsholidayspecial.com/photos/art.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caras_Galadhon.jpg

:D

The Y-man  

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Do some research

RE rocks said: ↑
Hi

I have a massive tree in my backyard which is causing a lot of headache and grief. Crazy $$$ on cleaning the backyard, $$ in cleaning gutters and Birds sit on it and poo on my cloths line... Nightmare situation

Back in Nov 2009, i applied for a permit to knock this down and council vegetation officer (Kingston in Vicotria) rejected it. I am super pis#$ off with the outcome.

What are my options??? Got couple of tree specialist come in to inspect and they said we could do it in a dodgy way i.e. Drill the hole in the branch, put liquid and plug the hole back, he suggested Copper Nails etc.

The only catch is he wants to do it cash-in-hand. Reading at one of the posts on SS, the fine could be upto $18K. CRAZY

What is the most effective way to survive council and remove the tree;)

Please advise. Someone suggested to write a leetter directly to the councillor..

Can someone share their letter ( if they have done that in the past)Click to expand...
Are you allow to prune the tree?

I mean cut off the branches.

Wonder what would happen if a branch fell off narrowly missing you or a family member.

I would be writing a letter to council identifying tree as a physical hazard which is an OHS issue. Health hazard bird poop on clothes hanging on clothes line. An emotional hazard as you worry about branches falling on family and a financial hazard to your family's emotional & lifestyle health.

The steps to controlling a hazard are;

1. Eliminate - eg. cut down tree

2. Substitute - plant a new tree

3. Isolate ( Does that mean you cannot use your backyard, therefore you cannot mow your backyard, cannot go into backyard to hang out clothes etc.). A shadow diagram of where tree may fall if hit by lightning would be good to include as an appendix in application to council to have tree cut down especially if enormous and could land on house.

4. Design/Engineer a solution - cut off branches to protect your family. Research elm trees [educate yourself] and use referenced research in your letter to council. Google elm trees - loads of information comes up!

5. Administration - send letter to council a) identifying tree as physical and emotional health hazard and b) since you have applied to council to cut down and Council have said No inform in writing that Council is responsible for injuries. c) Neighbours' if branches overhang may like to ring up and lodge a concern/complaint
d) write to council after every storm

6. PPE Personal protective equipment. This is a last resort.
Well I suppose you could construct a cage in your backyard [or at least draw a diagram of proposed cage - NO don't council may say build cage to protect your family and wear a helmet]

Attach picture of family member standing under tree branches with helmets on with caption - 'What is the safe working load of the helmet' & what weight is needed to crush this helmet?


If you cannot write a good argument then find a friend that can do it for you make sure you include lots of references in your letter which is identifying an OHS hazard.

Tip
Do not include the words strong healthy tree in your letter nor send in tree specialist reports you paid for.


Sheryn  

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If it overhangs a neighbour's fence, and they have kids, get them to write a letter complaining about threat of branches falling on their kids, giving examples of recent falls in high winds. Present this to your insurance company. Get them to write a letter saying they aren't covering liability for the tree and must be passed to council. A developer in Brisbane did this successfully. otherwise it would have cost him 600k in reduced gfa.

If it doesn't overhang a neighour's fence, find a buyer who likes elm trees.  

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vcat

Having a bit of first hand experience I will throw my 2 cents in. I have an enormous yellowbox tree in the backyard which has been protected by the local council and classed as a tree of significance.
The council sent its own aborist around to confirm the significance of the tree and then sent me a management plan that included required pruning and due to three trunks a support and stabilisation system of steel cabling.
This plan had to be paid for by me but has meant that the tree is much safer with the heavy pruning and cables in place. The tree is also covered by the council now so if a branch breaks off and injures someone its not my insurance that has to provide cover as the tree is classed as significant to the area.
The tree does provide a great deal of shade during summer and is truly beautiful to look at. I did have to move the clothes line and yes the gutters need regular clearing as well as my green top bin getting filled regularly but all in all the tree is great.
One thing I did find out was another resident who was found to have chopped his tree and had to face VCAT claiming he didn't know it was protected paid dearly. Ignorance was no defence he was told and $20k later he wishes he hadn't touched the tree.
My advice would be to get your aborist to give an opinion and talk with the council about what the expected useful life of the tree is in years. Put a plan in place and get the councils backing in writing. If the tree only has a useful life of less than 20 years they may allow you get rid of it and replace it.
Either way you are probably going to have to embrace the tree and sub-divide further down the track when the tree has passed its useful life.

Good luck.

PS If you have to do anything to the tree then salt the roots. Its the only way you might get away with it.  

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Unless you are planning on developing your back yard or extending your home and the tree is in the way, anything like an Elm, Oak, Liquid Amber adds value IMO.

We live in a street that is lined with Elms. Bought there on purpose. They are sought after. It is a street for all seasons. In late Spring, Summer and early Autumn it is a green tunnel with the canopy of leaves/foliage. From mid Autumn to now it was a pallette of orange, brown and burnt red. :)

Look at it from the perspective of a vista to enjoy from your family room or deck.

I echo Aaron's alternatives above. At the end of the day you bought the property with tree in situ. It didn't just sprout up all of a sudden.

Beware of doing dodgy tree poisoning, Kingston already will already have you on record. Also refrain from doing it one long weekend when you think no one is gonna bother. Councils have google earth databases of tree and foliage densities for properties. :cool:

Sheryn, a most oustanding post on Hazard and Risk Asessment and Control. Tree OH&S 101 ;)  

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Aaron Sice said: ↑
1) why get rid of a gorgeous big tree? a huge tree like that would add value, i would have thought.Click to expand...
I have tried to sell a property of mine with a big, beautiful gum in the back yard which is neither a threat nor pest. I do not recall any positive comment. Is this "tree thing" something of the south?  

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Sunfish said: ↑
I have tried to sell a property of mine with a big, beautiful gum in the back yard which is neither a threat nor pest. I do not recall any positive comment.Click to expand...
That's because big beautiful gums are a different kettle of fish to big beautiful Elms. Gums drop branches suddenly (Elms don't, so some of the posts which clearly show that some posters have no idea what an Elm is doesn't apply to the OP's perceived problem). Gums die suddenly and you are stuck with the cost of removing it. Gums burn dangerously in bush fires.

Nothing to do with your gum Mr Fish, but did anyone notice after the terrible bushfires in Victoria that the aerial photographs showed large tracts of solidly green trees - it was weird - totally burnt out properties still smoking, and then large avenues of green. Guess what kind of trees these were? the non-natives like chestnuts, walnuts, elms, English Oaks,Beech, Ash....they are full of water, not oil. And their resistance to fire is amazing.

Sunfish said: ↑
Is this "tree thing" something of the south?Click to expand...
Yes.  

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This thread kind of reminds me of people who move near an airport then want the airport closed because it's noisy and a plane might "fall out of the sky onto their roof". :rolleyes:

The tree was there when you bought... deal with it. If it was a danger or causing major damage to your building, fine, but because you don't like leaves or birds. :confused: Sorry, I'm with the council on this one.  

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Aaron Sice said: ↑
1) why get rid of a gorgeous big tree? a huge tree like that would add value, i would have thought.
2) move the clothesline - cheaper.
3) $$$ cleaning a yard? a rake is $20 and you "find your thirty".
4) $$$ cleaning gutters? a ladder and a saturday morning every few months is not exactly a "nightmare situation".Click to expand...
Hi Aaron

It's not just the clothesline, it's not about rake ( i have 2), it's about spending the whole weekend every weekend to clean up the garden. I'll click some pics and attach. I got that professionally cleaned for $300 once and now the gardener says he can come and clean the mess @ $60 a fortnight,,.. Gutters: If it was one Saturday morning job every few months, i wont worry about this... It is every Saturday for the rest of my life... and belive me as much as i hate to cut the tree, it is causing me n my wife a lot of grief.:mad:  

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Biggles said: ↑
This thread kind of reminds me of people who move near an airport then want the airport closed because it's noisy and a plane might "fall out of the sky onto their roof". :rolleyes:

The tree was there when you bought... deal with it. If it was a danger or causing major damage to your building, fine, but because you don't like leaves or birds. :confused: Sorry, I'm with the council on this one.Click to expand...
Biggles

I understand where you are coming from... Infact i have a Moorabin Airport close to me to and i promise you that every weekend we have fair few small planes ( Trainee pilots;) flying them and it doesnt bother me.

The tree initially was fine till we started spending weekends after weekends cleaning up the mess.  

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Isn't it only in Autumn/Winter or whenever, they lose their leaves? I lived next door to something similar, might have been Elm tree, not sure. I had a unit with a tiny courtyard and the leaves used to be a huge pain, they'd all get trapped in my courtyard and it would be bags and bags of leaves all the time. I never would have asked the neighbor to cut the tree down because leaves were annoying!

As for the gutters, aren't there guards and stuff you can put over them? Not sure how effective they are. And as for the bird crap, put your washing elsewhere. If this is your biggest problem, then I think life is pretty good. :)  

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RE rocks said: ↑
I understand where you are coming from... Infact i have a Moorabin Airport close to me to and i promise you that every weekend we have fair few small planes ( Trainee pilots;) flying them and it doesnt bother me.Click to expand...
I would have been one of them many of times. :p  

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Sheryn said: ↑
Are you allow to prune the tree?

I mean cut off the branches.

Wonder what would happen if a branch fell off narrowly missing you or a family member.

I would be writing a letter to council identifying tree as a physical hazard which is an OHS issue. Health hazard bird poop on clothes hanging on clothes line. An emotional hazard as you worry about branches falling on family and a financial hazard to your family's emotional & lifestyle health.

The steps to controlling a hazard are;

1. Eliminate - eg. cut down tree

2. Substitute - plant a new tree

3. Isolate ( Does that mean you cannot use your backyard, therefore you cannot mow your backyard, cannot go into backyard to hang out clothes etc.). A shadow diagram of where tree may fall if hit by lightning would be good to include as an appendix in application to council to have tree cut down especially if enormous and could land on house.

4. Design/Engineer a solution - cut off branches to protect your family. Research elm trees [educate yourself] and use referenced research in your letter to council. Google elm trees - loads of information comes up!

5. Administration - send letter to council a) identifying tree as physical and emotional health hazard and b) since you have applied to council to cut down and Council have said No inform in writing that Council is responsible for injuries. c) Neighbours' if branches overhang may like to ring up and lodge a concern/complaint
d) write to council after every storm

6. PPE Personal protective equipment. This is a last resort.
Well I suppose you could construct a cage in your backyard [or at least draw a diagram of proposed cage - NO don't council may say build cage to protect your family and wear a helmet]

Attach picture of family member standing under tree branches with helmets on with caption - 'What is the safe working load of the helmet' & what weight is needed to crush this helmet?


If you cannot write a good argument then find a friend that can do it for you make sure you include lots of references in your letter which is identifying an OHS hazard.

Tip
Do not include the words strong healthy tree in your letter nor send in tree specialist reports you paid for.


SherynClick to expand...
Sheryn, Appreciate ur time n effort with your detailed response. Council wont even let me prune the tree

You are right, we would never be able to use our backyard which could become really beautiful with landscaping if i do not have that beast dropping 10 leaves every second.

With regards to sending letter to the council, the letter states if you would like to challenge our vegetation officers decisions, please accompnay the letter with a $250 cheque ( Ridiculous):mad:

If it's not too much of a hassle can i share the pics with you and may be if you could help me draft a letter. I really want this letter to be a powerful one and i am too soft when it comes down to these things... Few other people suggested not to go back to ENironmental Planning @ Kingston but to write a letter to the councellor who can overrule any decisions.

If you have a draft version or any of your friends went throught he similar circumstances and succeded i would be gratful for all your help

It will also save us from stupid domestics on a Saturday morning.:D

Thanks heaps  

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Hi all,

Could you review my letter and provide inouts before i go to the council. I want someone to also act as devils advocate.

-------------------------------

Sub: Tree Removal in our backyard

To whom it may Concern

I am writing in regards to the removal of a big elm tree in my backyard.
(Property Address: XXXXXXXX). Last year in October 2009, I applied in writing for a tree to be removed (Reference no. YYYYYYY). Much to my disappointment, your Vegetation Management Officer rejected my application stating it is worthy of retention.

Since our application was rejected, we have struggled to live with this enormous tree in our backyard with fear in the back of our minds that branches might fall due to inclement weather at any time and cause serious damage. However after living with the tree for almost 7 months now, it has drained me and my wife emotionally and financially.


Current State of the tree:

Speaking to couple of tree lopping companies, they mentioned the tree is twin froked which is very dangerous and could fall apart & cause severe damage. They also added that the tree has been lopped in the past from various angles and it weakens the tree. Hence, limb falling is clearly imminent.

Furthermore, different part of the bark and branches are rotten and is considered dangerous.

Speaking to an arborist he mentioned, with the size of the tree, the roots suck a lot of moisture out of the ground which could be causing structural damage to back of my house & also the back wall of neighbours property. (Can be seen right opposite the tree , cracks on the neighbours’ wall)


Neighbours:

I should also state that the size of the tree is hazardous for a domestic back yard where children play and houses are so close by. Our neighbours have complained numerous times about the potential dangers of the tree. My neighbours at the back of my house have complained about the leaves falling in their pool, damaging their pool pumps, needing to get their pool professionally cleaned costing a large sum of money and again unsafe to their house & kids. They have also complained that the leaves falling from the tree is blocking their gutters and is a nightmare to clean. Again, costing them money on a regular basis.

Insurance Impact:

I also wanted to bring this to your attention regarding informing my insurance company that the Council is forcing me to bear a high, unreasonable risk of death or injury so if anything happens, insurer will come after the Council and the Councillors for negligence & any injuries. Just to add to our woes, I’m worried that in future, if this tree or its branches fall that insurance company might reject my claim.



Damage to sewage: Healthy & Safety hazard

Tree right next to the South East Water sewage system: Pipes near the surface are most at risk from tree root invasion. (See attached Asset location from South East Water)

Contacted South East Water who looked at the Asset Information plan & the google view for tree location and said it could potentially damage sewerage network includes pipes managed by South East Water and private sewer pipes that belong to property owners. They also mentioned as a property owner, we must maintain our private sewer pipes and make sure any pipes that connect to their system are not blocked. If this happens in future, this could cost us a large sum of money which could go in thousands.


Financial & Emotional Hazard:

We personally do not feel safe to use our own backyard. I have to think twice before going in my backyard to hang the laundry. I’m sure upon your inspection, you can draw a shadow diagram of where tree may fall if hit by lightning/gusty winds. i.e it could clearly land on our house. It is an emotional hazard as we worry about branches falling on our family and a financial hazard to me and my husband. We cannot afford to get the backyard & gutters professionally cleaned on a consistent basis.

Also, I along with my husband have been spending all our weekends cleaning the backyard for long hours. In the past, I got quotes from various Garden Maintenance company and they said approximately $ 100 a month I have to spend to clean the backyard which is turning out to be unaffordable with our commitments. Clean the gutters is another $135 a month. We would love to spend money on maintenance but not at the frequency we have to.

It is also ruining my relationship with some of my close friends. I sent an invite out to my friends for a BBQ in my backyard and the response I got from one of my closest friends for years was a shock. (see attached)

Another Health hazard bird poop on clothes hanging on clothes line. Even if we move the clothes line to a different location, we still have to clean the bird poop. Due to fear of branches falling, bird poos, kids cannot crawl in the backyard


---------------------------

We would like you to-revisit your decision made and grant us approval to knock down that tree for OH&S reasons.  

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You're attaching letters from your mean friends but not an arborist report? :confused:

The tree is ruining your relationships with your friends? :rolleyes:

I'm sorry, but I would laugh at that.

What a naughty naughty tree, have you tried putting it in time out? :)  

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Sorry RER I don't have any particularly useful comments for you.

What I would like to say however is that I'm very glad to live in an area where the council is only concerned with the trees on their own land. Around these parts (AFAIK) lopping trees on your own land is fine and dandy. I've certainly got into quite a few that way.

In this case we seem to have some faceless bureaucrats trawling google earth and other data deciding what is and is not a "tree of significance". What next - rose bushes of significance? Is this really how we want our rates to be spent? Haven't councils got better things to be concerned about?

I might just be out of touch but these examples of a nanny state really touch a nerve with me! The erosion of the rights of property owners over the last few decades has been insidious and debilitating. Can't touch this because of a heritage listing or that because it's a "tree of significance". Your tree in the middle of suburbia means you are now responsible for providing key habitat to cockatoos or whatever else.

For me it should be a very simple philosophy - if councils, govts or anyone else want to quarantine trees or buildings for their own ends, then they can bl**dy well pay for the land themselves! If they can't stump up the cash to do so then it wasn't really all that important was it? :mad:

All the time we let them do whatever they want with our own land at no cost to them we are going down a very slippery slope indeed with no end to it...

/end rant  

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