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Arborist to Evaluate the Health of Trees in Laura

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In Laura, a battle is brewing for the life of 125-year-old kurrajong trees thought to have been planted by William Wild in the 1880s. On one side is a group who wants to save the trees, while on the other are people who feel the trees cause a safety problem.

The 22 trees planted along Herbert Street, are thought to make the town more welcoming and to provide needed shade during the summer months. But the roots of some of the trees have damaged nearby footpaths and some trees seem to have cracked trunks.

A public meeting with 60 concerned locals asked the council to hire an arborist to evaluate the health of the trees in order to determine if the trees did in fact pose a risk to public safety.

Local resident Andrew Staker said he would rather the trees stay given their age and how they make the town feel. He said that the footpaths were damaged by bad planning, not by the trees. Mr Staker was alarmed by an earlier felling of one of the trees, which prompted him to take action with the town council.

Northern Areas Council chairman Denis Clark said local leaders would rather let the residents choose what they want to happen with the trees. Clark pointed out that the tree roots have started to damage nearby buildings and are making footpath renovation difficult. But he wants to reassure the locals that nobody is going to take the trees down without the community’s approval.


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