Nov 9

Please save my tree…

This is a letter from local resident John about a huge lovely tree in his back yard that the landlord wants to cut down… why?

Hello People,

The owner of the property I rent is removing a huge old tree possibly this weekend. I have tried to get people interested in this unnecessary removal both privately and within the Council bureaucracy. The immediate neighbours are saddened but no one else appears interested. Such disinterest is sad given that there are few of these old settlers trees left.

It has been looked at by an arborist and deemed healthy, safe and almost a century old. It is all that remains of a home on the hill of Kline street from the early 20th century, maybe earlier. It can be seen from Black Hill lookout and stands so proudly above all other trees. It is a home to many birds and provides much needed shade during summer. It is being removed because of possible future subdivision of the block.

As I read the Councils own guidelines in the 2007 Tree Management Plan, a significant tree may be an exotic and it may be deemed significant based on girth and height. This tree fits both descriptions. I was also told by a council officer that a tree cannot be removed because of a desire to develop the block sometime in the future. Why have these rules if they are not followed?

I have included some pictures as I wanted to have some sort of obituary for such an old, tall, useful piece of outer East Ballarat. These aged trees help define our spaces, they remind us of those who once lived here and this tree is quite a giant in all respects.

Thank You for this space to write.




  1. I’m with Ingrid’s comments “Who are we without history, without knowing our grandparents, our heritage?”

    I declare my interest – my Dad grew up in Ballarat – went to School of Mines, his first job was in a Photographic Studio in Sturt Street …. I remember his tales of water freezing in the pipes in the mornings …..
    This tree sounds an important part of Ballarat’s history, hope your activities John bring the reward of saving this tree

  2. Dawn Whitehand says:

    Hey John, have FB and Tweeted 🙂

    • BE Network says:

      its also great to share the info by becoming a subscriber to BE Net (at top right), or liking us on

      there are big issues at play in Ballarat East and honestly we need all the help, and shares and likes we can get…

  3. Feeling your pain! Can’t Council intervene?

  4. ingrid says:

    Hi John.
    Good luck with this, if the tree was spared this weekend, can you find anyone else at council who will help you with making a strong argument or represent your cause – which councillor had the heritage or environment portfolio?

    Any groups that might have been involved in getting other trees heritage listed? Is there a ‘Friends of Ballarat Botanic Gardens / National Trust’

    If the council says the “tree cannot be removed because …” did they tell you if the owner will need to apply for a permit to remove the tree?
    It’s possible they would need a permit, and if they don’t they can be fined. But that doesn’t deter everyone.

    The photos are great and I like the way you expressed “These aged trees help define our spaces, they remind us of those who once lived here.”
    Who are we without history, without knowing our grandparents, our heritage?
    Best wishes. Ingrid

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