The first 250 trees are set to be culled to make way for Orange's $25 million sporting precinct after council decided their fate at an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.
Council voted 10-1 to remove the trees.
A lengthy debate followed a passionate public forum where five speakers for and five against the tree removal argued their cases.
The trees have been a hot topic of debate in Orange including a last-minute protest on the Forest Road site near Orange Hospital on Sunday.
Councillors in favour of the development said there had been public confusion over the site of the planned precinct.
They described it as a "extension of Jack Brabham Park" up to 700 metres away from the hospital.
They said they were concerned council should not risk the $25 million provided by the state government for a precinct.
Several said it was a major opportunity to provide sporting facilities for a city with a mainly young population.
Councillors said most of the trees were radiata pines that could be replaced with other species.
The meeting was told the site was Crown Land and not owned by the council.
Cr Stephen Nugent opposed the development and called for a deferral to reconsider the sporting precinct's location.
Crowd numbers at the meeting were limited due to the latest COVID alert public health regulations.
The public gallery was limited to a few people plus the public forum speakers while a secondary viewing site was set up to watch the livestream on a screen in the Orange Civic Theatre foyer.
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