Opponents of the camphor laurel’s removal claim it was in fact a healthy specimen.
Opponents of the camphor laurel’s removal claim it was in fact a healthy specimen.

Bello felled tree debate goes on

AN ARBORIST may be the final arbiter between those for and against the felling of a camphor laurel tree in Bellingen.

Following the tree’s demise on Monday, the Advocate published a photograph showing what may be rot in one of its branches.

But Bellingen resident Rosie McDonald said a little decay in one branch did not prove the tree was unhealthy.

“Probably, there isn’t one 100-year-old tree between Coffs Harbour and Bellingen that hasn’t a little decay in a bit of branch that can be hand held for a photo,” Ms McDonald said.

To back up her claim, Ms McDonald sent her own pictures showing healthy tree limbs that were always rot-free.

Bellingen Council’s general manager Liz Jeremy said an expert opinion would be sought about the health of the tree.

“I understand there are a number of residents that have concerns,” Mrs Jeremy said.

“When the tree was cut down, there were indications of ill health.

“We are concerned about that and the health of the other trees and will seek an arborist’s opinion.”

The NSW Department of Primary Industries website states that under the provisions of the Noxious Weeds Act 1993, the camphor laurel is a class 4 declared noxious weed in the control area of Bellingen Shire Council.

As such, the growth and spread of the plant must be controlled, according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority, the Bellingen Shire Council.



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