Four large sugar gum trees in High Street, Broadford will be replaced after Mitchell Shire Council deemed them structurally unsound and posing a significant risk to the community.

The trees will be replaced with Algerian Oaks later this month.

The three trees at the front of the Presbyterian Church and one in the centre median strip have stood in High Street for decades but are now more susceptible to dropping big limbs, causing damage to property and posing a potential risk to pedestrians.

A sugar gum was removed from the site in 2019 after it dropped a large limb.

In September 2019, Broadford resident Cedric Brown told the Review he had contacted the council raising his concerns about the trees after the limb fell, and said he believed they were in danger of collapsing. At the time, council said an external tree consultant had recommended to remove just one of the trees.

The remaining trees have been monitored since then and have now been declared by a council arborist to be unsafe and a physical risk to the public.

Council looked at several options for a suitable replacement tree that would complement the existing streetscape and the new plantings in the town’s main street.

The trees will be removed between Monday July 26 and Friday July 30. During this time, there will be minor delays for pedestrians and vehicles using the service lane.

The new trees will be planted in August, adding to the eight trees planted in High Street last year and plantings in the median strip last month.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Rhonda Sanderson said the oak trees were chosen because they would grow tall, were hardy and would provide shade which the community had been seeking.

“Community safety is our priority, and while these trees have been a familiar sight for decades, they now pose a hazard and need to be replaced,” she said.

“Having vibrant, healthy trees in our townships is important and helps drive economic development for our local traders and makes the streets more visually appealing for our community.”

Council will care for the trees as they establish over the next few years.

For more information on Council’s annual tree planting program, please visit www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au or call 5734 6200.