Ausgrid Commits to Reduce Tree Trimming

Inner West Council has received a commitment from Ausgrid that contractors will reduce the cutback they are carrying out on local street trees following strong advocacy from Council and the community.

It comes as Council resolves not to include TreeServe, the company responsible for the excessive pruning, on a list of contractors for Council pruning.

Administrator Richard Pearson said that the commitment came from the CEO of Ausgrid, Mr Trevor Armstrong.

“The pruners have been carrying out two stage pruning, and it’s the second stage that has been leading to such excessive cutting on inner west trees,” he said.

“Ausgrid have now finally agreed to direct Treeserve to reduce that second pruning.

“They have also agreed to work with Council to replace any trees that die as a result of the pruning TreeServe has carried out over recent months.”

Ausgrid guidelines are for a clearance of 1 metre around bare low voltage powerlines. Once crews have cleared to the minimum clearance distance, they provide an allowance for regrowth so the branches won’t enter the clearance distances before the next annual visit. The branches are then trimmed at their nearest growth point or collar.

TreeServe had been taking full advantage of that pruning allowance.

Ausgrid has indicated that the maximum trimming for regrowth in the future will be 0.5 metres.

At the Council meeting last night, Council considered a panel of providers for pruning within the local area, provided by a SSROC tender process.

Treeserve was on the panel as provided by SSROC, but Council resolved to remove them from the list of providers.

“Council is hopeful that the revised clearance cutting instructions from Ausgrid will result in a much improved result for our street trees in the future,” said Mr Pearson.

“But the proof will be in the pudding and we need to make sure their assurances convert into real action for the benefit of our much loved trees and the community.”

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Page last updated: 16 Nov 2018