Gum San willow tree to be removed for safety reasons

Posted Wednesday 26 June, 11:15am

A large willow tree at the front of Gum San Cultural Heritage Centre in Ararat will be removed in the coming weeks for safety reasons.

Ararat CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the willow tree has caused damage to infrastructure, and now poses a safety risk as its roots have damaged a nearby footpath that forms part of the accessible entrance to the facility.

Dr Harrison said a thorough examination of the tree’s removal has been completed and showed that not only would it improve safety, it would improve the aesthetics of the centre.

The tree sits at the front of Gum San on the north-eastern side of the garden.

“The tree now hides much of the eye-catching and unique building, especially to east-bound vehicles carrying potential visitors – the garden and trees need to frame and enhance the building, not obscure or dominate it,” he said.

“Removing the willow will also mean a safer route for people with disabilities and mobility issues, and Council will no longer have to regularly clear the nearby path of the tree’s leaves, which become very slippery in wet weather.

“We will also save maintenance costs by removing the tree, as it is damaging the path, the drainage and sewage system, and other trees in the garden. Due to its size, the tree is also adversely affecting other parts of the garden due to lack of light.”

Dr Harrison said the large tree hides statues and other elements of the garden and its removal will allow the Council to recreate and refresh the gardens with more appropriate plantings.

The tree will be removed in the coming weeks depending on weather conditions.