A NUMBER of Bendigo residents have taken issue with the use of gum trees in suburban settings.
Safety was among the key concerns common to the complaints known to the Bendigo Advertiser.
Maiden Gully resident Leesa Pickford and her husband requested the city inspect the trees on the nature strip at Marcus Court after one lost a limb last month.
No-one was hurt by the broken branch.
City staffers deemed the trees to be in relative health with no obvious structural defects. It was determined that no further works were required.
But Mrs Pickford said her mind would be better eased if the trees, which she believed to be gums, were removed and replaced.
She questioned the wisdom of planting gum trees on nature strips.
"It's dangerous," Mrs Pickford said.
"It's a known fact gums, when there's a lot of dry weather around, they drop their branches to survive."
She also believed the gums constituted a fire risk.
Mrs Pickford wasn't the only one to raise such concerns. The City of Greater Bendigo has received three petitions since December from residents worried about trees planted in nature strips.
Common to all three were concerns about the suitability of the tree species.
More than 50 Ascot residents called on the council to remove 56 Spotted Gums from the nature strips at Elandra Drive and Myrtle Road.
Their concerns included mess, maintenance and potential damage associated with tree roots.
It was also said the trees detracted from Elandra Drive's appeal.
Two petitions were received from a number of Kangaroo Flat residents near the Casuarina Gardens Estate - the first in December, the second in January.
The two letters were identical and cited concerns about fire danger and mess.
"We do not understand why our council would allow gums to be lining our streets," the petitions said.
"If we lived on a farm, we would never plant gum trees so close to our houses because of the obvious fire risk. This would also be the advice we would get from the fire services. So why would our council put our lives and homes at risk of fire?"
They expressed a belief that, as ratepayers, they ought to have some say about the trees placed in front of their homes and hoped 'common sense' would prevail.
"We have built low-maintenance properties because, for the majority of us, [of] our age. Now we have high-maintenance trees in terms of clean up and fire danger," the petitions said.
None of the trees were recommended for removal. In all three instances, councillors followed the advice of the city's staffers.
"The reasons for tree removal are unfounded," councillors were advised.
DOCUMENT: City of Greater Bendigo tree petitions and responses, December - June 2019
Most of the trees planted in the estate's nature strips are Dwarf Yellow Bloodwoods, which the city said were 'entirely appropriate' for the location.
All the trees at Hasker Drive, Kangaroo Flat, are Wallangarra White Gums. Eleven of the street's residents submitted their own petition.
"The trees are now over 10 years old, are well established and provide considerable shade and amenity," the city said in response to the Hasker Drive petition.
Two arborists contacted by the Bendigo Advertiser said they could understand why some residents had concerns about the use of gum trees in nature strips.
But neither said the city ought to remove the trees. Bendigo Tree Service's Ian Costello said a lot of people loved having gum trees around them.
Central Tree Care's Bradley Nuttall said gum trees represented a lot of maintenance for the city, particularly as they aged.
"It comes down to a timing thing. In a 20-year span they're probably fine," he said.
The city has been contacted for comment.
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