Gallery Blue Gum to be removed
An unhealthy Blue Gum tree at the front of Wollongong Art Gallery will be removed on Wednesday 6 May.
Qualified arborists inspected the tree after the neighbouring gum was brought down by strong winds over Easter. An assessment of the Blue Gum showed it needs to be removed for safety reasons.
“We have a city-wide program where our arborists carry out regular inspections of trees and provide advice on their condition. Given their age, size, and proximity to well-used public spaces, we had been monitoring both gums that shared a garden bed out the front of the gallery for some time,’’ Wollongong City Council Community Services Director Kerry Hunt said.
“After the larger gum tree fell unexpectedly, it has left the remaining smaller Blue Gum exposed to the harsh winter westerly winds. This tree has already been assessed as being in poor health with a main limb overhanding the pedestrian path into the Gallery. For these reasons, we need to remove the tree.’’
The tree will be removed by a Council crew and there will be pedestrian management in place while the works are underway. Once it’s removed the tree will be mulched and the material will be placed in Council gardens.
“We are sorry to see this beautiful gum tree removed, but it needs to go for safety reasons,’’ Ms Hunt said.
“We were fortunate to only have minor damage to the Gallery building last month when the gum that shared its raised garden bed fell. It could have been much worse.’’
Ms Hunt said following the removal of the second tree from the Gallery’s entrance way, staff will consider the next steps for this space.
“This area forms the entrance to our city’s regional gallery and it’s important the decisions we make for this space following the loss of these trees is the right one,’’ she said.
“The trees were here when the gallery moved into this location in 1991. They, along with Bert Flugelman’s Spiral & Wave sculpture, have been a feature of the front entrance way for almost 30 years. We now have an opportunity to consider this space within the goals set out in the Gallery’s Strategic Plan, which is currently in development. We can ensure we have a clear plan for how we want our gallery to look for the next 30 years.’’