Warwick’s CBD crossing upgrades put safety first

06 Jun 2024 |
7 June 2024

In April 2024, Southern Downs Regional Council commenced important upgrades to the pedestrian crossings in the Warwick CBD to enhance the business centre’s safety, liveability and economic growth potential. An important part of the works includes the replacement of a London Plane (Platanus × acerifolia) tree in Fitzroy Street with a more suitable Scarlet Oak tree (Quercus Coccinea).

Southern Downs Regional Council’s CEO Dave Burges said that the latest tree removal forms part of Council’s ongoing species replacement program as per a Council resolution in April 2017.

“Following the discovery of significant ongoing damage to public infrastructure caused by the roots of the London Plane trees, community consultation was undertaken in 2017 to select a replacement species for the trees,” Mr Burges said.

“Following community feedback, Council resolved to commit to an ongoing species replacement program to replace London Plane trees with Scarlet Oak trees as required.

“The growth of the mature trees in the CBD is monitored through regular inspections and successful replacements have already been undertaken in both Grafton and Palmerin Streets to address safety concerns.

“London Plane trees flourish in cold, wet weather, and following drought-breaking rains in 2021 and four years of favourable weather conditions, the problems caused by the roots of the tree located on the corner of Palmerin and Fitzroy Streets has increased exponentially.

“Leaving the tree in place is unfortunately not an option as its future growth will also impact the new safety upgrades to the CBD pedestrian crossings.

“The Scarlet Oak trees in Grafton Street are a great example of the species replacement program’s success and Council looks forward to reinstating a mature tree on the corner of Palmerin and Fitzroy Streets as part of the improvements in the area.

“With the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival around the corner, Council consulted with the Warwick Art Gallery and I can confirm that this particular tree was not included in the annual tree jumper exhibition due to safety concerns.”

Reaching a height of up to 40m and with a circumference of up to 3m, the London Plane tree has two layers of roots: an upper layer to provide stability and a lower layer to extend deep into the soil to extract water and nutrients. The upper layer of roots can extend horizontally up to 30m, causing extensive damage to underground infrastructure and building foundations.

Last edited date 07 Jun 2024