Marine Drive Foreshore Reference Group speak about Coral Trees Tea Gardens Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest by NOTA - April 1, 2015 The future of threatened coral trees on Tea Gardens riverfront should be considered as part of a wider plan for the foreshore, a meeting of key stakeholders decided. A Tree Evaluation Report to Great Lakes Council, prepared by consulting arborist Martin Hamilton, was discussed at a meeting of the Marine Drive Foreshore Reference Group (MDFRG) on Friday 27 March. The report recommends that two of the coral trees along the Myall River foreshore be removed as soon as possible due to 45% of their root system being torn from the western side and the possibility of them falling during high winds. The report is critical of the work carried out by Council stating: “Another compounding factor affecting these trees is the damage suffered from the recent curb work performed by Council.” It goes on to say: “This action has seriously compromised both the structural integrity and has opened up the tree root crown to attack from pathogens that will cause decay of the remaining structural members of the trees base.” The Reference Group felt that it was disappointing that as a result of the report findings, two of the coral trees represented an immediate hazard and should be removed. The group agree that the two trees should be taken down Another of the main areas of concern to the MDFRG was the lack of shade and the exposed seating along the waterfront, which would get worse when any of these trees are felled. Decisions on the immediate removal of the other five threatened coral trees were deferred until a more comprehensive approach could be taken to any foreshore tree planting program. The MDFRG agreed, together with Councillor Len Roberts (chair) and Councillor Carol McCaskie both present at the meeting, that the choice and placement of any new trees must enhance the landscape and amenity of this special area for the future and should not be rushed into without a plan. The Reference Group will meet next week (1 April 2015) to review the original Foreshore Landscape Masterplan and seek further advice from previous consultants on incorporating new trees and further shade and seating into the area. It was agreed by the group that there was an opportunity to improve the foreshore whilst addressing the issues that the loss of any trees will create as well as engaging the community in this process. It was also pointed out there is a lot of talent and history in our community and we should draw on those resources to assist in beautifying the area.