Feedback sought on Mortlake Avenue of Honour tree replacement

Published on 21 December 2017

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Mortlake residents will be asked to have their say on the type of tree that will replace the aged and dying Avenue of Honour in the town.

After feedback from the public, councillors voted on Tuesday night to undertake a community survey.

The survey will offer a choice of planting Monterey cypresses (Cupressus macrocarpa) again, or to go with a new species such as Moreton Bay figs (Ficus macrophylla), Turkey oak (Quercus cerris), lemon scented gum (Corymbia citriodora) or spotted gum (Corymbia maculata).

There will also be an option for residents to suggest a species of their own choosing.

People will be able to vote for their choice of tree in January and February via the Moyne Shire website. There will also be a mail-out to Mortlake residents.

The feedback from the community will then be used in further consultation with key stakeholders Heritage Victoria, RSL Victoria and the Mortlake RSL.

In the meantime, the council will continue to maintain the existing trees, which are slowly dying due to the presence of a cypress canker.

The Avenue of Honour was planted in 1926 in honour of WWI soldiers from the Mortlake district.

The council received a petition signed by 134 citizens on 1 August 2017 who “believe the decision by the shire council … to replace the aged Monterey cypresses … with the same species is inappropriate and irresponsible”.

Moyne Shire has been issued with a heritage permit to allow for Monterey cypresses to be planted again, but wants more consultation to take place before a final decision is made. If a different species of tree is selected, a new permit will be required from Heritage Victoria.