ANN Scott says she was appalled, sickened and devastated by the recent removal of native trees at Lake Neangar in Eaglehawk.
Ms Scott said the trees had been at the site for more than 100 years and said she wasn’t aware of any discussion or notification prior to them being cut down.
“We’ve lived out that way for 30 years and had picnics, played with the kids, ridden bikes and had parties there,” she said.
“It’s just incredibly sad they’re gone.
“There’s a generation that will never be able to enjoy them.”
Ms Scott said it would take at least 20 years before any newly planted trees provided shade.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it,” she said.
“I drove there the other day and they were just gone.
“About 25 years ago we had a campaign to keep them, the local people around the lake campaigned to keep them there.
“Now they’re gone forever.”
Ms Scott said the trees’ rings were solid to the core and said while she wasn’t an expert, they appeared to be disease-free.
But City of Greater Bendigo manager parks and nature reserves Simon Harrison said the sugar gums were a safety hazard.
“There were about half a dozen and they’d reached the end of their lifespan,” he said.
“Sugar gums are notorious for limb drop and for falling over.
“We had another one that fell in the Eaglehawk area and as part of our inspection process, these were identified as high risk, unfortunately.” Mr Harrison said the trees were old, but probably not 100 years old.
He said other councils had removed all sugar gums from their parks and reserves.
“They certainly weren’t significant trees from an historical perspective,” he said.
“They weren’t on our significant tree register.
“We will replace them with suitable species that will be safe, unlike sugar gums.
“They posed a public safety risk and the last thing we wanted was anybody hurt, especially when Neangar is such a heavily-used site.”
A contributor on the Bendigo Advertiser website said they knew someone who had been injured by a falling tree at Neangar but that couldn’t be verified.