War memorial trees 'must go'
MAJESTIC trees planted to remember Diggers from two World Wars will be removed next week due to disease and unstable root systems.
THE Norfolk Island pines and fig trees which line the streets of Cudgen village are a special part of its history, but a few have become a safety risk and Tweed Shire Council says they must come down.
The Cudgen Progress Association began planting the pines as World War I continued to commemorate the village men who did not return.
The group's current office-bearers say they are happy with Council's explanation as to why two weeping figs and two pines must be chopped down.
“It is very sad, definitely sad to see them go, we are happy to know they will be replaced, and in time grow to their full size and beauty,” CPA secretary Marion Gardner said yesterday.
“It is a very, very sacred memorial and one that Cudgen residents are very very protective of.
“Hopefully they will always be replaced.”
The trees make Cudgen a magnificent host for the Dawn Service each ANZAC Day, as they stand tall in the background while the ceremony takes place at the public school's memorial. Locals place lanterns and wreaths at the foot of each tree to create a special atmosphere.
The two pines suffering from unstable root systems are the smallest and youngest of the Norfolk's in the village - some of which are almost 100 years old and tower many metres in to the air, supported by thick trunks.
An old fig commemorating the unknown soldier from World War II will be one of the ones to go, and it will be replaced by an Australian variety of tree, the Buckinghamia.
However, president Carl Redman and vice-president Len Wallace are wary of plans for Council to undertake kerb and gutter work on Collier Street - which could put in danger the largest and oldest Norfolk pines.
“Some time ago we had a meeting with Council and made it quite clear that we do not agree with the removal of any of the trees,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Redman said the CPA's position was clear: “Under no circumstances do we want kerbing and guttering”.
“It is not just the progress association, it is the RSL; they do not want a reduction in trees.”