23 Jul

200 years old heritage trees lost

By Kerry Coleman,

olives trees sepiaIn 1820, a grove of olive trees was planted in Cranebrook by the wife of infamous convict Samuel Terry.
Last week, Penrith council chopped down all of the nearly 200-year-old heritage-listed trees.
Elderly Cranebrook resident Shirley Tesoriero was very fond of the trees that sat off Soling Crescent, near Boundary Road.
“I’d read about them in the paper and it made me proud to drive past them every day,” she said. “I’d even told my family about them.”
Driving home last Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Tesoriero noticed bulldozers and trucks where her favourite trees had been.
“All of them were gone,” she said. “I was so upset I rushed home to ring council but no one answered.”
Historian Jean Stevens from the Nepean Valley Historical society said the trees were of huge historical significance to Penrith.
“For nearly 200 years those trees have been a conspicuous element of the landscape,” she said.
“They marked what was the largest estate of the colonial era and essentially the beginning of Penrith.”

Penrith Council agreed that the trees were important Penrith landmarks.
In 1991 they were heritage listed in the council’s Local Environment Plan. They are also listed on the council’s register of significant trees and gardens.
Under these, a person caught destroying the trees could have been fined up to $20,000.
In further tribute to the trees, the council renamed a small section of Cranebrook Road “Olive Lane” earlier this year.

But a Penrith Council spokesman said the trees had to go.
“Unfortunately, the trees were dead, or very close to dead,” he said.
“It’s a shame, but they have been slowly dying for a number of years now.
“Council was aware of their historical significance and made the conscious decision to take cuttings from the trees so that they could be replaced with their direct descendants.”

But Mrs Stevens disagrees.
“There was nothing wrong with those trees and the council should have protected them,” she said.
”Now there’s nothing left in Penrith to show that Samuel Terry ever lived here.”
Council workers also tell a different story.
They said no one realised the trees were significant until residents began to complain. They said the trees were destroyed because of a bureaucratic bungle, not disease.
Next Sunday is National Tree Day.

[Source] Click here

3 Responses to “200 years old heritage trees lost”

  1. Olives101 Says:

    follow up :
    http://www.penrithstar.com.au/2007/07/8_felling_of_olive_trees_puts.php

  2. Olives101 Says:

    update : http://www.penrithstar.com.au/2007/08/olive_seeds_of_doubt_1.php

  3. Olives101 Says:

    a good news :
    http://www.penrithstar.com.au/2007/08/2_olive_saplings_survive_the_c.php

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