17 Dec, 2013

Traffic restrictions at Hindmarsh Square for significant tree removal

Traffic restrictions in the north east quadrant of Hindmarsh Square will be in place on Wednesday 18 December to enable the staged removal of a Morton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) in failing health.

Neil Brown, General Manager of City Infrastructure and Public Works says Council has been monitoring the health of the tree for some time and has tried various methods to try and save it, including removing some of the load from the branches, but without success.

“The tree’s health has continued to decline and we’ve sought both Council and an independent arborist assessment which have both recommend the tree be removed to ensure public safety,” he said.

The Arborist’s report stated that due to its current state of decline, with the trunk splitting in sections and fungal growth at the base, the tree should be removed.

“It’s a real shame when anything like this has to occur; we are committed to preserving and protecting trees wherever possible, but we also have a duty of care to minimise risk to pedestrians and motorists,” Neil said.

“This particular tree is estimated to be between 120 and 140 years old and has a trunk made up of three sections measuring 9.7 metres in circumference. It is a very large tree, but is in poor condition. Morton Bay Figs are not native to Adelaide although they do typically do well here. Unfortunately this particular tree is nearing the end of its life.”

To minimise the impact to pedestrian and vehicular traffic during the busy holiday season, the tree removal will be in two stages:

  • Stage One – Wednesday 18 December
    Removal of cracked branches and trunk to the north west, to reduce the size of the tree to maximise public safety
  • Stage Two – Sunday 5 January
    Complete removal of the tree

Pedestrian and vehicular traffic will be affected during both stages of the removal process in the following ways:

  • Pulteney Street – footpath and the two eastern most lanes heading south on Pulteney Street around the north eastern quadrant will be closed to traffic
  • Grenfell Street – footpath and parking and bus lane heading east on Grenfell Street will be closed to traffic.

“Removing the tree provides an opportunity for Council’s City Design team to evaluate the site and recommend a course of action to remediate the area including assessing its replanting,” said Neil.

For more information

Rebecca Draysey