Tree trim too far

Powercor has apologised for powerline tree maintenance taken a step too far in a heritage area of Lancefield.
Residents lodged complaints with the company following the annual maintenance works in Dunsford Street last week, which is home to magnificent aged horse chestnut trees.
Resident Deb Dunn said she was devastated to see about 70 per cent of the tree canopy had been removed outside her home.
“A work crew came and butchered the trees. I am fully aware that they need to do this and safety is paramount but this area is the primary heritage precinct of Lancefield,” she said.
“That tree was older than the combined age of the four men that were mutilating it. A Powercor representative met with us and apologised…but sorry doesn’t put the tree back together.”
A Powercor spokesperson said managing vegetation around powerlines was an important part of bushfire mitigation but a representative had met with residents and understood their concerns.
“We have spoken directly with our cutting crews about the need to take care when cutting trees,” they said.
Macedon Ranges Council stated no permit or council approval was required for tree management for bushfire mitigation and electric line clearance if in accordance with the code of practice. The heritage overlay in the area does not change this.
Director of assets and operations Shane Walden said the council had received complaints regarding the extent of tree lopping in Lancefield and regarding Powercor’s management of trees around powerlines in other parts of the shire.
“Council monitors the tree management works undertaken by Powercor. Council will meet with Powercor to discuss the current season’s powerline clearing program,” he said.
Mr Walden said the trees in Dunsford Street had been assessed by council’s arborist and it was expected they would survive.
Powercor’s tree lopping works will occur shire-wide on a three year cycle to ensure safety of the network delivery.

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