*September 2021 Update*

Council is continuing to undertake works, which were recommended by an arborist after reviewing the toxicology reports, to give the trees the best chance of survival and ensure the avenue of trees remain safe for the pubic.

So far works have included:

  • Removing deadwood
  • Aerating Soil and applying a antifungal
  • Applying two treatments of  broad-spectrum  fertilizer (Nitrophoska  T.E)
  • Treating all wounds with insecticide and steri-prune.
  • Cleaning old wounds and loose bark from base of trees up to 1.8m and treat, including treating damaged roots.

Council continues to closely monitor the health of the trees and will receive further arborist reports in coming weeks.

EARLIER: A toxicology report, commissioned by Douglas Shire Council, has confirmed a number of rosewood trees on Warner St were poisoned.

The laboratory tests found concentrated traces of chemicals called dicamba and metolachlor OXA in samples taken from the leaves of impacted trees.

These chemicals are found in a variety of common herbicides that can be easily purchased from hardware and agricultural suppliers.

Council has sent the toxicology results to two independent arborists to provide an expert conclusion of the findings and further recommendations.

The two initial arborist reports, which presented differing views on what may have occurred, and toxicology report are available for viewing at Council’s website to assist with the public’s understanding.

Once an expert analysis of the toxicology results is complete, Council will determine how to conduct further investigation and consider filing a police report to assist with this process.

Crews pruned the affected trees to keep the street safe for motorists and pedestrians in May 2021, and also aerated the root zones and applied broad-spectrum fertiliser to improve their health.

Council has arranged for a contractor to again remove dead branches from the Rosewood trees in August 2021.  Removal of the deadwood will give the trees the best chance of survival, as well as ensure the avenue of trees remains safe for the public.

While a number of trees still show signs of life, there is hope for their survival and Council will continue to work with arborists to give the impacted trees the best chance of survival.

Over the past two years, Council has worked very closely with stakeholders to ensure the beauty of the street was maintained while drainage and footpath improvements were completed. 

We acknowledge how important the avenue of trees is to our community and understand how difficult it has been for people to watch their decline.

Council has committed to replacing any trees required for removal with six-metre-high rosewood trees as part of a landscaping program for the street. 

Council is in direct contact with Warner St stakeholders and is inviting members of the public to register for updates by emailing community liaison@douglas.qld.gov.au .

UPDATE #6 - August 23, 2021

Council has arranged for a contractor to again remove dead branches from the Rosewood trees in Warner Street.  Removal of the deadwood will give the trees the best chance of survival, as well as ensure the avenue of trees remains safe for the public.

For two days, August 26 & 27 2021, Council is requesting that no vehicles are parked in Warner Street between Grant and Owen Streets. There will also be traffic controllers on site allowing only local traffic to enter the area.  These restrictions will allow contractors to work efficient and complete work within the two days allocated.

Council is in direct contact with Warner St stakeholders and is inviting members of the public to register for updates by emailing community.liaison@douglas.qld.gov.au

UPDATE #5 - May 12, 2021

As a follow up to the trimming and monitoring of the Warner Street trees, the following works will be conducted as per arborist recommendations:

Aerate  all  root  zones  and  treat  with  antifungal, plus apply a  broad-spectrum  fertilizer (Nitrophoska  T.E).

Works will be carried out Thursday 27 and Friday 28 May 2021 and residents, tenants and workers are asked not to park on the street to enable contractors access.

UPDATE #4 - April 28 - Removal postponed after second arborist report

The removal of rosewood trees on Warner St has been postponed after a second independent arborist report recommended further maintenance and monitoring may give the trees a chance of survival.

A second independent arborist report assessed a sample of trees which found good sap flow and no hydraulic failure.

In line with the first arborist report, the trees are still considered to be in a state of stress and decline.

The arborist has recommended any deadwood posing a public safety risk should be removed.

 

In addition, the arborist has also recommended the cleaning of the crowns, the root zones be aerated and a broad spectrum fertiliser applied.

Council will start removing deadwood from the trees this week and continue monitoring the trees’ health to give the trees the best chance of survival, as well as ensure the avenue of trees remains safe for the public.

Samples taken from the affected trees and soil have been sent to a laboratory for analysis. A report is due in one to two weeks.

Council is in direct contact with Warner St stakeholders and is inviting members of the public to register for updates by emailing community.liaison@douglas.qld.gov.au

UPDATE #3 - April 21 - Arborist recommends removal of rosewood trees

An independent arborist report, commissioned by Douglas Shire Council, has recommended the urgent removal of a number of rosewood trees in Warner St due to their deteriorating health.

Council has been closely monitoring the street trees which now pose a risk to public safety due to potential deadwood failure.

The report found a number of trees had advanced (unstable) deadwood present.

“The trees’ structural integrity will rapidly degenerate, with associated potential for deadwood failure and ultimately total tree failure if left unmanaged,” the report said.

The removal, which represents about 50% of the street trees, will occur next week.

Community members will be invited to participate in a tree replacement program that suitably restores and rehabilitates the avenue of trees.

Council is in direct contact with Warner St stakeholders and is inviting members of the public to register by emailing communityliaison@douglas.qld.gov.au.

Samples taken from the affected trees have been sent to a laboratory for analysis and until these test results are received, it is too early to speculate about what has happened to the rosewood trees.

The works are expected to take place later next week, with traffic control likely to be in place.

UPDATE #2 - March 23 - Independent arborist finds trees unlikely to recover

An independent arborist report, commissioned by Douglas Shire Council, has discovered some of the rosewood trees located on Warner Street were likely poisoned.

Council has sent samples taken from the affected trees to a laboratory for analysis to accurately determine the details of the herbicide used.

The independent arborist report investigated all possible factors which may have contributed either directly or indirectly to decline of the assessed trees.

“Symptoms were uniform and consistent in nature, indicating an event which has impacted upon all of the affected trees within a short timeframe,” the report stated.

The report stated a number of trees were unlikely to recover.

Council will continue to closely monitor the trees and do everything it can to give the affected trees the best chance of survival.

Staff will also start exploring available options for mature replacement trees in the event some of the trees are unable to recover.

The assessed trees will be maintained in coming weeks to ensure there is no threat to public property or safety.

UPDATE #1 - March 17 - Council Monitoring Rosewood Trees

Douglas Shire Council is investigating the declining health of several rosewood trees in Warner Street, Port Douglas.

The row of trees, located on the eastern side of the street, has shown signs of serious stress in the past two weeks.

Council Officers will continue to monitor the health of the trees which are an important natural asset to the town.

An independent arborist will inspect the trees and provide a report to Council.