TOWERING gum trees lining Phillip Street are a hazard and should be removed by Orange City Council before someone is injured, according to residents in the area.
Falling branches and leaf litter blocking stormwater drains and gutters are a constant occurrence for the residents who say they want the street trees replaced by a more suitable species.
“There’s probably about 15 and some are quite large,” Natalee Selwood said.
“The year before last we had one fall on a visitor’s car.”
Ms Selwood said front yards and the nature strip were turned into a dust bowl when it was dry and muddy when it rained.
“Because they’re that type of tree it’s so hard to grow anything under them,” she said.
Nearby resident Valerie Hooper agrees the trees have got to go, and organised a petition to council, signed by other concerned residents, after it knocked back a request to have the tree in front of her home removed.
“They’re dangerous for people walking past ... we’ve had limbs come off ours,” she said.
“We have no front yards because the trees suck all the water up.
“The roots are in everyone’s frontyards... and the gutters are chock-a-block with leaves.”
Mrs Hooper, who uses a walking stick, says debris from the trees is a trip hazard for walkers.
“The street looks dirty all the time,” she said.
“I love gum trees but not in the main street.”
Cr Glenn Taylor said the situation in Phillip Street was a disaster and was making life a misery for the residents.
“I saw a branch drop there last year ... if it had hit a car there would have been substantial damage,” he said.
He said there were other areas in town, including Spring Street, that were experiencing similar problems.
“We should be looking at a removal strategy for all over town,” he said.
“They [gum trees] are just a pest.
“They’re wonderful trees for the bush but city streets and eucalyptus trees as far as I can see don’t mix.”
Cr Taylor said he had been told by council staff that gum trees were no longer used as street trees.