Gerald E.P.Wright Pr.Sci.Nat, Somerset West
Your article “Tree trimming raises ire”, Bolander, March 8, refers:
‘Significant’ to me, means having a meaning, highly expressive, or important .
The tree in question is none of those!
All it is is an imported invasive species with no character, no real use and is a remaining hazard on an extremely busy road.
In its homeland it is commonly known as a “Widow tree”, as the branches break away from the stem without warning, often killing or maiming persons sheltering beneath it.
The species is a huge guzzler of water and is reputed to do dreadful things to the soil in which it grows.
Eucalypts were brought to South Africa many years ago from Australia to be grown for railway sleepers and mining props and today have no value at all, except probably to apiarists to feed their bees, and, possibly firewood.
But it should also be noted that fumes from burning timber could in some cases kill the user/s .
I must agree with Fred Lewis, an arborist of excellent reputation, who states very clearly that the tree should have been pruned to the ground.
If I may, I must appeal to the general public and the CoCT to rather plant indigenous species, not only to enhance the areas in which they are planted but in a greater attempt to save water as well.
Regrettably, indigenous species are, on the whole slow of growth but on the plus
side, are quite magnificent.
Regarding the use of safety equipment, I agree that many contractors are not well equipped, purely I believe, to save costs, and with very little thought to safety or lifesaving for that matter.
One organisation that I have been involved with, does not allow any worker on site unless their workers are properly equipped as far as safety is concerned.
It would seem that City officials will always accept the cheapest quote for any works advertised.
However, with due diligence from the city officials supervising the work, a great deal would be accomplished regarding the safety of workers .