THEY may be one of Orange’s most important assets, but mayor John Davis believes the city’s street trees will be the biggest challenge council will face as the aging trees begin to dominate the city landscape.
Cr Davis said he and other councillors were hearing an enormous groundswell of concern from residents about the trees.
So much so he believes in the future they will warrant enough attention to deserve their own council department and committee dedicated to their upkeep and management.
“Orange is very proud of the trees and they’re magnificent,” he said.
“In fact some are too magnificent.”
Cr Davis said many residents were contacting councillors with concerns about trees overshadowing their homes, but he stressed that he did not want to see the trees cut down.
“Because they’ve been there for 50 years plus there has to be a very big discussion process of what do we do, people love the trees but they’re huge,” he said.
“They’re magnificent trees, but they’re as big as houses and people are saying how can we get the sunlight in and keep the drains cleared, they’re really concerned.”
Cr Davis said the council’s parks and gardens staff were now planting more appropriate street trees, but in the past large trees like Oaks were chosen for the city’s residential streets.
He acknowledged any changes or decisions to remove certain trees could be met with concern.
“It’s very expensive and it’s very emotional and trees take a long time to replace,” he said.
“[The trees] are one of the really great assets of Orange.”
Cr Davis said Glenroi was one area in particular where trees dominated the landscape.