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UPDATE | Independent arborist backs bid to remove dangerous tree

There’s been an update in the case of a Sydney man who wants a tree removed from his backyard due to safety concerns for his children.

An independent arborist has now backed Tom Malone’s bid to have the tree removed from his Willoughby home.

Arborist and founder of Hunter Horticultural Services Stephen Williams tells Ben Fordham the tree poses “an unacceptable risk to life and property”.

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The Mayor of Willoughby has joined the council in refusing to allow a family to cut down a dangerous tree in their backyard.

The Ben Fordham Show spoke with Tom Malone, who has concerns for the safety of his young children after the council forbade him from removing a tree in his own backyard.

He says the large gum tree in his backyard regularly drops large branches on their property and he fears, when the next big storm hits, it could fall right on top of his child’s bedroom.

Willoughby Council has rejected Tom’s application three times in the past three years and, after a personal visit, so has the Mayor.

Mayor of Willoughby Gail Giles-Gidney tells Ben Fordham because the tree is healthy it cannot be cut down.

“I take on board what Tom is saying in regards to safety, and that is certainly a major consideration that we have, but the arborist is telling us in this particular instance that the tree should be retained.

“I can’t override a policy.”

The Mayor has asked for a review of the policy but says in the meantime Tom can remove dead branches without council approval.

Tom tells Ben Fordham he is disappointed with the result.

“I can’t tell you how frustrating and exhausting the whole process is.

“I’m not sure that the Mayor has the power to do anything anyway.”

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