Give me a home without the gum trees
By EMMA CORNFORD
IN the park across the road from Christine Stevens' Coutts Crossing house are two gum trees affixed with signs warning of falling branches.
In her front yard is a similar tree, which has left Ms Stevens wondering why she has spent the past 10 months unsuccessfully asking the Clarence Valley Council to remove it.
She is not the only Couttaroo Place resident concerned about the trees ? six others are also worried about the gums dropping branches onto their houses, or worse, onto them.
"We've already had numerous limbs fall and they've wrecked the water metres a few times," Ms Stevens said.
"There's cracks all the way through the tree ... and if one of the limbs falls it could hit and kill one of my kids. Obviously this is a real concern to me. It's a matter of urgency."
Neighbour Carol Sheather said she was also concerned about the trees and maintained they did not belong in suburbia.
"I worry about the storms we get here because you don't know if they'll blow over," she said.
"They've been dropping limbs and while I love trees, these ones just shouldn't be this close to houses."
But council manager of open spaces Nigel Greenup said the gum tree had been declared safe by an independent expert and had now been placed in a list of priorities.
"Because it's not a tree of high risk we'll deal with it as our budget allows," he said.
"The fact is the council is dealing with thousands of trees around the Valley and we do assessments and if there is a lower risk then it's a lower priority."