THE removal of five Coral Trees from the Tea Gardens Foreshore has caused quite a stir.
Social media exploded last week, and the News Of The Area phone and email ran hot as Council workmen cut down the trees that had lined Marine Drive for more than half a century.
There were more than 90 concerned residents voicing their opinion, some for the removal, most against.
Gordon Grainger, of the Marine Drive Reference Group told the News Of The Area, “The community is rightfully unhappy about the removal of the trees, however it is important they understand and accept the facts leading up to this conclusion.”
The fate of the trees was sealed back in 2014 when MidCoast Council resolved to remove the Corals after their root systems had been compromised during roadworks to upgrade the Marine Drive car park.
Council arborist Josh Duncombe told the News Of the Area that the damage to the trees had been irreversible and there was a high risk the trees would fall in a storm.
Mr Duncombe said, “Coral Trees have now been classified as a noxious weed by the NSW Department of Agriculture.”
Gordon Grainger said, “I would suggest a good analogy, that in a private residence, faced with the same conclusion and the possible result of harm or damage, the majority of us would elect to remove the offending tree.”
“Council has taken this step. In our modern world, litigation is a reality,” said Mr Grainger.
“We have defended the outcome as long as it was possible and have insisted that suitable replacement trees are located,” he said.
So far, two mature Port Jackson figs have been planted and the Marine Drive Reference group has sourced another five more mature figs from Tea Gardens Woodward Nursery.
“In time it is expected that these figs will grow and become a central visual focus of the area, as well as providing shade for residents and tourists alike as they enjoy the foreshore,” said Josh Duncombe.
By Margie TIERNEY