Lithgow has a lovely stock of established trees. They are part of the city’s appeal and character. But unfortunately, they have a finite lifetime. To ensure that they are managed without causing hazards to people the Council undertakes regular inspections.
The trees in Queen Elizabeth Park were recently inspected. An expert arborist undertook the investigation and provided a condition assessment and report on the health and risk of the large trees, including the elms located on the footpath between Main Street & Queen Elizabeth Park.
While some trees will only require general maintenance, with the removal of dead wood, two trees are so dangerous that they must be removed due to imminent risk of failing. One tree has presented with major splitting at the base and is at risk of falling over the public toilet and Main Street. Clearly, pedestrians and motorists are at risk.
Immediate action already taken includes the bracing of the at-risk tree with emergency strapping. This should provide short term strengthening.
Council will be engaging a contractor to remove the trees as a priority. This removal will occur in the first week of May. Given the significant removal process there will be some managed disruption to traffic flow along Main Street. Works may be scheduled at night to minimise this.
In the meantime, Council will be installing fencing to restrict access to the immediate area underneath the canopy of the tree. Access to the pedestrian crossing adjacent to the Theatre Royale will remain, however access to seating and the adjacent amenities will be restricted. All pedestrians and park users are advised to comply with the closure and signage and ensure they do not linger in the area.
Council recognises the significance of this tree. It is sad that it must be removed.