Dangerous trees to be removed

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Emu Plains will become a safer place to walk in and drive along from Friday, when the removal of 25 trees begins.

An independent arborist assessed trees along the Great Western Highway in Emu Plains in response to the death of a man from a falling branch in January.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said Council ensured all trees near roadways in the area have been visually inspected, and dangerous trees will be removed and replaced with a safer species.

“[The arborist’s] report recommends we remove a number of trees which may present a risk of falling if similar storm conditions were repeated,” Cr McKeown said.

“Removing trees is not something Council likes doing, in fact we’ve planted an additional 3000 trees in the past 12 months to help cool and green our city.”

The report indicated that the trees fell due to the severity of the storm in January, and the softened ground following heavy rainfall.

The decision to remove the trees couldn’t come sooner for Emu Plains resident Ben Cremen, who lives two houses away from Dukes Oval that runs along the Great Western Highway.

Mr Cremen has five children who walk and ride their bikes under the trees, and he drives them along that stretch of road to school every day.

“I walk that area every day, and this morning [Monday] coming back from the school run, two massive branches that would have killed my kids and I was laying across the path,” he said.

“Council needs to get rid of them, they need to be gone.”

Mr Cremen’s concerns stem further than his own family though, due to the nature of the random dropping of the breed of trees.

“The breed of tree surrounds the whole recreational area, I think they’re called ‘widow makers’, because of the tendency to drop these branches,” he said.

“This is an issue for joggers, other kids, and when there’s traffic issues on the M4 the traffic gets diverted through that road.”

Council will also remove 70 more trees around the Penrith area that encroach over roadways or are not suited to their location as a result of the report.

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