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Neighbour fumes as tree ‘hacked’ by council in affluent suburb after 'one complaint'

The man blasted council, claiming he was not given notice of the decision.

A resident has taken a swing at his local council after a large established tree on his street has been whittled down to a few brown branches, with the "eyesore" a vast change from the once luscious tree.

Last week the man was taken by surprise when workers arrived in his street in the affluent suburb of Birchgrove in Sydney's inner west and was told they would be giving the tree a "trim". However to his dismay the tree was "hacked" down so only the thick trunk and the base of several branches were left — with no greenery in sight.

"I believe [there was] one complaint about falling branches and this is what happens," he wrote online. "Squeaky wheel syndrome [is] alive and well in Cove Street, Birchgrove."

Right, the tree 'hacked' on the tree is left with only a thick trunk and several branches left. Left, the tree as it appeared in October, 2020 before it was cut down.
A resident was angry this tree was 'hacked' down by council workers in Birchgrove, Sydney last week. Source: Facebook

The resident claimed no one he has spoken to about it was notified before the work, and questioned if authorities would "take all trees out" after just one complaint going forward.

After sharing an image of the "sad" looking stump left behind, people commented on how visually "horrible" the end result was and hoped the tree would grow back quickly.

Council defends decision to cut back tree

The Inner West Council confirmed they received a request from a member of public to assess the tree due to it's "poor overall condition" at the end of last year.

"A site inspection was carried out by a tree management officer who found that it was unsafe and had to be removed," a spokesperson told Yahoo News, noting it had "heavy decay and hollows".

The council said residents were notified of the change with the "closest 10 houses" receiving a notice in their letterbox, and an announcement on its website notifying the wider community.

The council also said there was a reason why the tree was left in its specific condition rather than being removed all together.

"Habitat tree creation means the main trunk of the tree and its hollows remain in place and continue being a home for wildlife. This avoids totally removing the tree and destroying the natural habitat it offers local wildlife," the spokesperson said.

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