It was good to read the article, ‘Can’t see Wonthaggi for the trees’ (Sentinel-Times, March 16). We need many more trees to help minimise the effects of climate change and council’s Urban Forest Plan is very welcome.

However, I’m not sure that lining the main roads into Wonthaggi’s centre is a good way forward. We’ve all seen trees on a roadside under powerlines which have been mutilated by removing the heart of the canopy, leaving a ‘goblet’ hole through the middle. Roadside trees can have an impact on pavements, cause problems with car-parking and compaction and are often deemed, rightly or wrongly, as a safety risk. They require ongoing maintenance to mitigate the likelihood of problems and legal liabilities.

None of these problems are insurmountable but, even if the trees are allowed to mature, they can be lost to construction. Wonthaggi is a designated growth area and the Bass Highway will need upgrading sooner rather than later, which will inevitably result in destruction of the roadside vegetation before the trees can provide a canopy.

I urge council to use the funding to plant a ‘forest of trees’ elsewhere so that they have a chance of long, healthy lives, providing beauty to gladden human hearts, habitat for wildlife, shade, carbon sequestration, pollution reduction and other services for the next century and beyond.

Anne Heath Mennell, Tenby Point.