Ancient apple tree cops unfair chop

GARVOC farmer Mick Lenehan says he is shattered after a 100-year-old apple tree on his property was hacked back by Powercor contractors.

The dairy farmer said he was devastated to find the tree had been severely cut back yesterday morning.

Mr Lenehan said he noticed that the tree — which sits well below and just to one side of power lines — had been damaged about 9am, then saw men working on other trees further up Laang Road.

“I’m shattered a bit,” he said. 

“It has been there since the turn of the century. It’s important to me.”

Mr Lenehan said it would be interesting to see if the tree could recover from the pruning and return to its former glory. 

“What disappointed me was that I didn’t get the message or anything to say it was happening,” he said.

“I spoke to a bloke and he seemed to think it would have been left somewhere.

“If we had’ve got a message we would have spoken to them.

“We would eat (the apples) or give them to someone.

“There was that many, it was unreal. We’d get heaps of apples from it.

“But it’s just the principle of the thing.”

Mr Lenehan has been on the farm since 1941 and said the tree, which was made up of three different varieties of apple, hadn’t grown substantially in the last 50 years.

“It has never been trimmed,” he said.

A spokesman for Powercor said residents were notified by mail when trees on private property were being trimmed.

He said the work was completed yesterday morning by a contractor for Powercor and a field officer later went to Mr Lenehan’s home to explain why the trimming was done.

“That conversation ended on good terms,” he said.

The spokesman said since the Royal Commission into Black Saturday there had been changes put in place which meant Powercor was doing more trimming work on trees.

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