Statement on tree issue at 22 Mint Street

Published on 18 December 2018

Tree on the corner of Mint St and Shepperton Road

In May 2018 the owners of 22 Mint Street contacted the Town claiming reimbursement for the costs associated with clearing blocked drains, caused by a tree on their verge. This has been a persistent issue at the property for several years.

The Town is continuing to investigate all options available to mitigate damage to the property whilst trying to retain the tree. 

Removal of the tree is not approved at this stage and the Town will ensure the local community is informed of the outcome before any action is taken.

Persistent root damage can lead to more serious issues such as the undermining of a home’s foundations that ultimately may mean a much more significant risk to public safety and private property than simply blocking pipework. 

These issues have the potential to cause significant property damage, injury or even death if the integrity of the structure is compromised.

Mayor Trevor Vaughan said: “Tree removal is always a last resort, and there has been a high level of consideration to saving this tree, including the investigation of engineering treatments with professional arborist advice.”

“The Town knows it is very important to preserve large trees like this wherever possible. In some circumstances, where unsuitable species are growing in awkward places, the cost and risk associated with property damage and the safety of residents and the public must also be considered.”

As part of its investigations the Town requested an arborist’s report in August 2018 looking for any and all options available to reduce any further damage caused by the tree’s roots.

The arborist’s report advised that:

  • The tree’s roots extend to the boundary wall of the property.
  • Severing the roots (in order to prevent them from causing any further damage) has the potential to render the tree structurally unstable and create a high-level of risk of whole-tree failure. 
  • Installing a root barrier is not recommended due to the potential for structural instability (the tree could fall over).

While the Town understands the current owners wish for the tree to remain, it must ensure any future owners of the property are informed of the issue prior to purchase. The Town has offered to enter into a written agreement with the owners, for a notification to be put on the title of the property to declare this.

Agreement on this has not yet been reached.

The Council has recently adopted an Urban Forest Strategy, which aims to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community and a sustainable, liveable city. The strategy aims to retain and increase the level of tree canopy in the Town as well as better manage trees within the Town.