Tree cut

Sig­nif­i­cant tree van­dalised

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

A sig­nif­i­cant tree near Onslow has had a large chunk cut out of it, leav­ing res­i­dents con­cerned it may be too weak to re­cover.

Bobby’s Tree, named in hon­our of for­mer Shire of Ash­bur­ton grader op­er­a­tor Bob McAul­lay, was likely van­dalised some time in Jan­uary, which could leave it in dan­ger of of col­laps­ing in strong winds.

Sandi McAul­lay said her un­cle was a “real char­ac­ter” to the peo­ple who knew him.

“He no­ticed this gum sapling grow­ing where it shouldn't have been — in­stead of mow­ing it down with the grader, he went around and nur­tured it so it could grow to the fab­u­lous spec­i­men it is to­day,” she said.

“When the road was sealed, the align­ment of the road was changed so the tree could re­main.

“There is a dip on the shoul­der of the road which col­lects wa­ter when it rains, which helped and helps its sur­vival.”

Shire of Ash­bur­ton Pres­i­dent Kerry White said the Shire and Onslow res­i­dents were dis­ap­pointed to learn of the dam­age.

“Lo­cated 60km from Onslow, on the Onslow Ac­cess Road, Bobby’s Tree has been a longterm mon­u­ment to Bob McAul­lay, a Shire grader op­er­a­tor from 1969-1980, who nur­tured this tree from its in­fancy,” she said.

“In recog­ni­tion of this, the Main Roads Depart­ment and Shire coun­cil en­sured that the tree re­mained when the Onslow Ac­cess Road was aligned and sealed.

“Main Roads have in­spected the site and are cur­rently ex­plor­ing op­tions in which the tree may be saved.”

Main Roads WA spokesman Dean Roberts said the depart­ment was com­mit­ted to sav­ing the tree.

“Main Roads is sad­dened by the re­cent van­dal­ism of Bobby’s tree,” he said. “Main Roads are work­ing closely with the Shire of Ash­bur­ton in an at­tempt to pre­serve the tree and have sought pro­fes­sional ad­vice from ar­borists.”

Pic­ture: Sandi McAul­lay

Bobby’s Tree has been tar­geted by van­dals.

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