Anger rises as trees get the chop

VINCENTIA resident Gary Lanham loves his own private oasis and does not appreciate when it comes under attack from tree trimmers.

His anger bristled when he came home last week to see the trees he loves once again under attack from tree trimmers hired by Endeavour Energy.

Last week’s episode got him fired up, angry and seeking answers.

“They (the tree loppers) say they are all trained and this is how they do things – does that look like it was in the hand of someone who was trained?” he asks while pointing to one of his hacked up trees.

“See these knobs here (he says while pointing to one of the trees) what you are supposed to do is cut off right here (closer to the trunk) – you’ve got to cut them level or the tree can get diseased.

“It’s just bloody criminal.”

Some of the trees were at the property when he moved in, while others he planted himself 10 years ago.

He is not happy with his property being treated in such a manner.

”This is my home,” he explained.

This is also the second time they had a go at his trees after Endeavour had them chopped into them a month ago.

“I was bloody angry when I came home to see it happening again,” he said.

“How would you feel?”

Mr Lanham goes from one tree to another pointing out his concerns as he goes.

“Look at this one, talk about slash and burn,” he said.

“Look it this bay tree, it was nowhere near the wires but it was just cut it off – just cut off,” he said.

A spokesperson for Endeavour Energy said public safety was the reason for the recent tree cutting.

“Endeavour Energy has a legal obligation to maintain the safety and reliability of our network,” the spokesperson said.

“As part of a carefully managed annual cycle, trees too close to powerlines are pruned a safe distance to keep the community safe and prevent customers experiencing blackouts.”

Staff from Endeavour Energy had met with Mr Lanham previously and had notified him that the work was going to carried out.

The energy company maintains its contractors are trained.

“Endeavour Energy employs trained horticulturalists, arborists and tree trimmers to prune trees in line with Australian Standard  (4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees),” the spokesperson said.

“To keep the public safe and trees healthy, the Australian Standard outlines the proper pruning method to keep the tree healthy.”

The spokesperson added they did not adopt a slash and burn approach.

“The minimum safety clearances between trees and powerlines is set by the NSW Industry Safety Steering Committee which provides a consistent approach across NSW,” the spokesperson said.

No matter what Endeavour says Mr Lanham still loves his trees and so do others.

“The guy who picks up the rubbish was here the other day when I came up to get the bin. He said ‘I love coming around here’ and he asked what I did to the trees.”

The garbage collector was shocked when he was told about what happened to the trees.

Mr Lanham still remembers a previous encounter with contracted tree trimmers.

Several years ago tree loppers killed a tree fern that was growing the front of his property and they also hacked into a dogwood tree.