Silky oak to get chop in main street

By GLEN PORTEOUSglenp@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

A Goondoon Street nature landmark is getting the chop. The silky oak at 124 Goondoon Street is going to be cut down due to serious white ant problems.

Gladstone City Council recently discussed what could be done about it.

Council manager for enviromental services Ron Doherty said that while the tree had been there for a long time, safety issues would compromise how long it stayed.

Mr Doherty said that if there was a cyclone or even a strong wind, it could blow over onto a business or worse, a pedestrian.

The tree had lost much of its base and could not be saved. About 50 per cent of the trunk was hollow at ground level. This cavity could be filled but would not strengthen the trunk.

Independent consultant in arboculture Adam Tom tested the tree using a resistograph 18 months ago and found the tree to be in poor health but worth keeping.

Since then a large colony of white ants had been found in the trunk of the tree, which could be eradicated but the tree was already weakened to an unsafe state.

The tree was located between two prominent businesses, Kapers and Peps.

Owner of Kapers restaurant, Irene Dudley, is reluctant to see any tree cut down, but still has concern about this one.

'Normally I would object to a tree being chopped down, but it is full of termites and it has to go,' Ms Dudley said.

Other neighbouring businesses felt that it was a shame for it to go, but as it was an old tree they wouldn't object to it being cut down.

The council planned to remove the tree in the third week of January and would have to close down the street for a couple of hours . 'The tree will have to be cut down and then cut out of the ground,' Mr Doherty said.



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