Pruning regime to save palms
FIFTY regal but dangerous royal palms in Rockhampton’s CBD have been saved from the chop.
Rockhampton Regional Council staff had considered felling the tall and majestic palms which line Quay St and several other streets in the centre of town amid concerns that falling fronds could cause injury.
But yesterday councillors agreed to trial a new method to stop the large and heavy fronds from falling on to cars and people.
The threat was highlighted late last year when a frond fell with enough force to smash the rear screen of a car parked in Quay St.
Parks services operations manager Kevin Quinn told councillors the trees had only recently started to become a problem because they had grown so tall.
“The palms are an integral part of the theme that identifies the central parts of Rockhampton,” he said, adding strong campaigns had been waged to protect palms in the main thoroughfares.
The council will now trial a pruning regime that will remove the lower layer of leaves from each tree, leaving only the leaf bases attached to the trunks.
The remaining fronds will be strapped to the trunk by a soft plastic strap strong enough to hold the heavy base in place until the next round of pruning.
Mr Quinn said no one knew how long the period between prunings would need to be.
“It is likely to vary through the year and possibly be affected by seasonal and climatic variations,” he said.
Trees in Quay, East, Bolsover, Fitzroy and Denison Sts will be included in the program.