A 135-year-old fig that has stood outside the Chinderah Tavern as long as anyone can remember was cut down yesterday after owners abandoned further attempts to save the tree.
The owners said that despite previous attempts by arborists to save the tree its condition had continued to deteriorate and that it posed a serious threat.
But Tweed Greens councillor Katie Milne said that she blamed the other councillors for the tree’s demise.
‘I hold the six other councillors personally responsible for the loss of this 135-plus-year-old White Fig tree at the Chinderah Tavern, and for failing in their legal obligations to protect this heritage item known to be at risk,’ she said this morning
‘When this removal issue first came up in September 2010 council commissioned an independent arborist report that seriously questioned the claims of tree health and their removal option.
‘Council also commissioned an independent heritage study which found conclusive heritage significance.
‘Despite this advice all six councillors refused my requests three times over the years to heritage-list this tree.
She said the Taphouse did not provide their arborist report to council or even let council know of the removal beforehand.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said council staff asked for the work to stop so that council’s arborist could examine the tree, given it was only a few months ago that pruning work had been done.
He told ABC radio this morning that it was ‘gut wrenching’ to see the tree removed.
Ms Milne said an option previously identified by Council’s consultants could have saved the tree.
‘If the tree needed support, which only further investigation could verify, it could be easily braced, as occurs in the Brisbane CBD in very high-use public areas.’