‘Secondary wave’ of tree deaths post-fires

Hundreds of hazardous trees along Eurobodalla roadsides are being removed following a second wave of impacts from the Black Summer bushfires.

Immediately after the fires Eurobodalla Council inspected and removed hazardous burnt and fallen trees to re-open roads and reduce the risk to the community.

While regrowth on burnt trees was initially encouraging, the stress of the prior drought and then intense impact of the bushfires has resulted in a secondary wave of trees now dying.

Eurobodalla Council’s infrastructure director Warren Sharpe said specialist tree arborists had been called in to assess roadsides and determine which trees needed to be removed to keep the community safe.

“We had about 490km of local roads within the burnt bushfire area. Where the bushfire was intense, we are now seeing a second wave of trees dying,” he said.

“Following assessment by arborists, two specialist tree crews are working across our local road network to selectively remove hazardous trees to keep our community safe. Right now we have one tree crew on our sealed road network in the north of the Shire and one crew out on our unsealed road network, starting with Araluen Road.”

Arborists will also re-assess burnt trees on Council-managed reserves near houses.

“Where safe to do so, we will allow regrowth of select trees to replace the trees lost in the bushfire,” Mr Sharpe said.

“We are also seeing wattle coming back along our roadsides as a thicket of regrowth which will inevitably lead to safety issues associated with loss of sight lines and trees falling on roadways within a few years.

“Our teams are working hard to deal with both of these issues in a way that leaves our roadsides safer for road users and more resilient in future natural disasters such as bushfire, floods and storm events.”

Council is using funding from the NSW and Australian Governments under the National Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements for the work.

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