2 December, 2022
Lane Cove Council regrets the extent of tree loss at the Lane Cove Golf Course due to recent tree management works.
The works were in response to issues raised by golf players and the course operator in relation to player safety due to overhanging trees, which also impacted the playability of the course.
The trees had not been managed or trimmed for approximately 20 years. Many trees had grown at an acute angle over the fairway and become unstable. The works are permissible in the E2 zoned areas which adjoin parts of the golf course. Trees in this zone sometimes require maintenance and tree management.
Contractors were engaged by Council, who worked under the instruction of a Council arborist. Initially the trees were intended to only be pruned, however once the works commenced it became apparent that extensive pruning was required and a large number trees needed to be removed. Selective tree pruning to address safety issues can often lead to trees requiring removal due to instability being created by the removal of the dangerous limbs. If left in an unstable condition there is a high likelihood that they would have fallen over, creating an even larger safety risk than the one that was initially being addressed.
Notwithstanding the above, Council accepts that the works have resulted in an unacceptable loss of tree canopy and apologises for this outcome. Council is reviewing its processes to ensure that this does not occur in the future. At a minimum, this will include dual signoff of any tree management in a public place where more than 3 trees are proposed to be removed or heavily pruned as part of tree management works.
Council staff are currently determining additional works to be undertaken to accelerate the regeneration of the tree canopy.