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Blooming Jacaranda "butchered"

Tuesday, 26th August, 2008

Blooming Jacaranda Blooming Jacaranda "butchered"

A local man has expressed his anger at the way Country Energy cuts back trees near power lines and transformers.

Bruce Lord, whose father planted the Jacaranda trees outside his Gossan Street home decades ago, said the company made a mess of them yesterday.

"They've just hacked them off. It's ridiculous," he said.

Jacaranda trees are well-known for their bright purple blossoms but are very slow-growing. One of the trees outside Mr Lord's home was cut even lower than the rest because it is near a transformer.

"They've just butchered it," he said. "You couldn't call it anything else."Mr Lord said he had been an electrician for more than 40 years and that there was no need to cut them that low.

He said Country Energy had previously cut back the trees and done a good job, shaping the tree neatly, but this time they had just "gone stupid.

"They haven't got skilled people doing it," he said. 

"A lot of the trees don't recover. This tree will probably go into a state of shock and die." 

Mr Lord expressed his concerns to Country Energy and the company went back to inspect the work that had been done.

Country Energy Customer Relations Manager, Fran Parker, said they found that the trees had been trimmed to meet compliance and safety regulations.

"Safety is our number one priority," she said. "It doesn't look the best but we have to cut them that way.

"There is nothing else we can do. They have to meet compliancy. Maybe in the past they haven't been cut as low as they should have been."

Ms Parker said branches had to be 1.5m from a powerline or the bottom of the transformer. She said the bottom of the transformer was considered high voltage.

The jacaranda trees which line Gossan Street are due to burst out in colour in the next few weeks.

"They're normally lovely but not this year," Mr Lord said. 

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