Thirroul residents get tree trimming shock

A Thirroul woman says she has been left with a dangerous front yard after Endeavour Energy chopped her tree severely during a routine pruning.

Endeavour said it had contracted Sydney Metro Trees to ensure trees were kept away from power lines, as part of a vegetation management program between Helensburgh and Bulli. 

On Tuesday, a crew arrived at Cathie Milander’s house on The Breakers Road in Thirroul to trim a tree under a set of wires.

Mangerton the leafy suburb no more?

‘‘Normally they just cut it straight across the top to keep it away from the power lines,’’ Ms Milander said.

‘‘But this guy used his chainsaw like a weapon and really hacked into it. It’s really unbalanced now. Endeavour said in a letter that the tree would be trimmed, not hacked.’’

Ms Milander said the tree could now be a safety hazard for her family as well as passers-by.

‘‘I won’t be parking my car underneath it,’’ she said.

Endeavour Energy said it was important they kept at least three metres’ safety clearance between trees and power lines. 

‘‘It is regrettably not always possible to maintain the aesthetics of trees planted underneath power lines and achieve the required safety clearances,’’ an Endeavour spokesperson said.

‘‘Pruning does, however, prevent the far more drastic step of having to remove a tree such as this altogether.’’

Ms Milander said she feared the tree might be permanently damaged or even die. She had raised these concerns with the crew. 

However, the Endeavour spokesperson said a botanist had been on the scene to ensure the action taken was sustainable and environmentally friendly.

‘‘[The botanist] found that the tree had been pruned correctly and would regrow at a normal rate. Our vegetation specialist will monitor the tree over the next six months to make sure it regrows as expected,’’ the spokesperson said.

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