ELM TREES outside the Old Teachers’ College will be removed next week after lining the main drive for almost a century.
Fourteen English elm trees and one English oak are deemed too hazardous to stay.
The University of New England employed tree management business ArborSafe to assess the health of the trees on the state heritage listed block.
ArborSafe director Malcolm McKenzie said the inspection found fungal decay in each tree, making branch failure highly likely.
“They are essentially dying,” he said.
The trees, which pre-date the Old Teachers’ College, will be replaced with 14 semi-mature English elm trees and one semi-mature English oak.
Costing $30,000 and standing seven metres tall, the new trees were hand picked and will be imported from a site in Victoria.
A university spokeswoman said the trees’ health had deteriorated to such an extent, they had to act quickly to ensure the safety of all who accessed the grounds.
“The University of New England recognises and respects the prominent status and legacy of the Old Teachers’ College within the community,” she said.
“[WE] will take due care to ensure the historic representation of the gardens are maintained by immediately replacing the removed trees with semi-mature healthy trees similar in species and number.”
The state environment and heritage office approved the action, which was also endorsed by Council.
Work to remove the trees will begin on July 4 and is scheduled to conclude on July 19.
During this period, motorists are advised to use the rear entrance on Faulkner Street and pedestrians to use the entrance near East Block.
The university says ArborSafe will monitor the planted trees on three-monthly intervals for 12 months to ensure successful establishment.
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