Axe hangs over Gerroa Road's 'bum tree'

The end could be near for the "bum tree", the well-known landmark on Gerroa Road on the boundary between Kiama and Shoalhaven councils.

The tree is on the western edge of the road just north of the Beach Road intersection opposite the Seven Mile Beach State Park.

The tree has a couple of prominent bulges that protrude from the trunk, with the letters BUM and an arrow pointing to the bulges regularly repainted on the tree.

Who paints the words is a mystery. In the past, some holidaymakers have claimed responsibility, while there have also been published reports the tree represented a border between the areas of different Aboriginal groups on the South Coast.

Shoalhaven City Council will begin a program of works clearing vegetation along Gerroa Road, also known as the "sand track", in February 2014.

The $820,000 project will involve clearing vegetation within the road reserve, construction of wider shoulders and reline-marking with raised rumble pavement markings.

Shoalhaven council's director of assets and works, Ben Stewart, said the council would clear trees and remove vegetation up to six metres from the edge of the road.

"Council is currently finalising arrangements for vegetation removal along the sand track, which is being carried out to improve sight lines along Gerroa Road," Mr Stewart said.

"As part of the process, council is investigating whether the removal of vegetation will include the removal of two large trees at the intersection of Beach Road, including the colloquially known 'bum tree'."

Mr Stewart said works would take place between the Gerroa Road intersection at Shoalhaven Heads and the Kiama council boundary in the north.

The project is due for completion by the end of June and is funded by the Nation Building Black Spot Program administered by the RMS.

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