ONE of Tamworth's most significant and beautiful landmarks, an avenue of English oak trees, faces the chop due to a burgeoning disease problem.
Already a dozen English oak trees that were planted 69 years ago on the fringe of King George V Ave have been felled and more are set to follow.
The proposed Tamworth Regional/Peel Council in years to come will have little choice but to remove all of the decaying trees on the Goonoo Goonoo Creek side of the road because of tree disease and the costly pruning exercise that stops the tree branches from reaching overhead power lines.
The trees on the Peel River side of the road, where there are no powerlines, are also decayed to a point beyond recovery.
Tamworth City Council's technical services department has negotiated with Country Energy and hopes overhead powerlines could be channeled underground, but that would come at a cost of $240,000.
The pruning maintenance bill, the decline in the trees' health and the possibility that King George Ave could become an alternative link to Calala
are factors the council has
In 1934, the Tamworth Town Beautification and Progress Association planted 318 of the grand oak trees to commemorate the death of King George V.
Today more than 160 of the oaks remain.
Cr John Green said the council was aware that any move to lop the trees would evoke great public outcry.
"This is a delicate issue and there certainly will be some concern from the community and my fellow councillors before the trees are felled," Cr Green said.
"This a memorial stretch of road for some Tamworth
To ensure King George V Ave remains the shadiest street in Tamworth the council would plant 5m to 10m high English oaks, ranging in price from $350 to $2500, 2m from the fences bordering the road.
Tamworth City engineer Mick Bloem said the council would sink devices underneath the newly planted trees, which would ensure the tree roots grew straight down and did not
disrupt the underground powerlines – a technique used on the Peel St palms.
With a new generation of English oaks further from the road, the council could eventually widen the avenue to 13m, so it could become an alternative thoroughfare to Calala.
Cr Green said he would push for the future council to follow the Chinese lead where the bases of silky oak trees at the Ming Tomb near the Great Wall were painted with a lime substance to deter wood borers.
Meanwhile, Tamworth City Planning and Environmental Services director Paul Ander-son said a private gravel road that once linked King George V Ave and Calala could become a main thoroughfare.
He said the road would service a proposed subdivision in Calala where vacant paddocks off Campbell Rd would be developed into residential blocks.