Call for review of Camden Council's tree removal policy

RESIDENTS are calling on Camden Council to review its policy for tree removal to limit the number of trees going to the chipper.

Last year there were 301 trees removed across the local government area, up slightly from 284 in 2012.

The council's development and health director Nicole Magurren said trees could be removed because of age, health and the stability of the tree as well as any safety concerns.

"Each application for tree removal is considered on its merits and tree removal is only approved where there is a good reason, such as its age, health or safety concerns," Ms Magurren said.

"When tree removal is approved, council requires replacement planting to occur where appropriate and reasonable."

Elderslie resident Sue Way called for a more flexible policy to be implemented whereby trees could just be pruned instead of being removed altogether.

"I'm asking [the council] to look clearly at what's happening in Elderslie and to look clearly at what other options might be available," Ms Way said.

"The older suburbs of Sydney have old trees that are treasured.

"They are not removed, things are done to make them safe."

Camden resident Debbie Sheehan said she was concerned about an old gum tree in Little Street, Camden, that the council had recently removed. "It is upsetting to see them go," she said.

"I'm all for trimming trees if they have to be trimmed."

Mrs Sheehan said the council should ask residents who lived near trees that could be removed if they had other ideas for how to solve the problem.

Ms Magurren said the council was not required to let residents know if a tree was to be removed from council-owned land, but would often consult residents who would be affected by the removal of a tree.

"The majority of street tree requests received by council are for those directly adjacent to their property," she said.

Ms Magurren said a development application was required to remove trees that were three metres or more tall, had a circumference of 300 millimetres or more at a height of one metre above the natural ground surface, or that had a branch span of three metres or more.