GOING GREEN: Michael McCabe from the Capricorn Conservation Council says the Cyclone Marcia clean-up has become a “war on trees”.
GOING GREEN: Michael McCabe from the Capricorn Conservation Council says the Cyclone Marcia clean-up has become a “war on trees”. Chris Ison

Conservation council: Let’s stop this ‘war on trees’

MICHAEL McCabe wants to see councils and communities working with their natural environment instead of pushing against it, especially during the Cyclone Marcia clean-up.

Mr McCabe, Capricorn Conservation Council's co-ordinator, said members were concerned the natural disaster had started a "war on trees".

"The community and (Livingstone Shire) council needs to avoid knee-jerk reactions to natural bushland and roadside trees and make everything look like parks and gardens," he said.

"There is an essential need for assessment of wildlife habitat and endangered plant species prior to removal of trees.

"This should take into account the value of trees, shrubs and ground cover in soil conservation, erosion prevention, wildlife habitat and food."

Mr McCabe said trees posing a danger to schools or homes should be removed, but there was a benefit to natural bushland in leaving trees which had limbs snapped off in the cyclone.

He said a large tree in a watered park was more likely to snap or be uprooted in a storm without the protection of a grove of trees around it.

"A reasonable approach should work with the natural environment," Mr McCabe said.

"A mix of large trees which often have nesting hollows, intermediate trees, shrubs and grasses will provide a visually pleasing landscape, shelter, food and shade," he said.

Livingstone Shire Councillor and gardening guru Tom Wyatt said the council was not "indiscriminately removing trees".

Cr Wyatt said only those which would be future hazards in high public use areas were being removed.



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