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Elm avenue replacement designs to be unveiled

Thursday 22 February 2024

Albury residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback on plans to replace the avenue of deteriorating elm trees in the Botanic Gardens.

The plan to remove and replace the 140-year-old trees is a key part of the Albury Botanic Gardens Master Plan 2022-2042, which underwent extensive community and stakeholder consultation prior to endorsement by Albury Council in June 2022.

Councillors this week endorsed a stakeholder engagement plan to gather and consider feedback on plans to replace the trees, which will kick off at this weekend’s Gardenesque festival in the gardens.

Service Leader City Landscapes, David Costello, said the elm trees were at the end of their lives, a fact verified by independent arborists, and further illustrated by one of the trees falling over in November 2022.

“We recognise that the avenue is a much-loved feature of the gardens and the necessary work of replacing the trees will change the character of the gardens in the short-term.

“We want the community to celebrate the elms and the contribution they’ve made to the character of the gardens for over 150 years, as well as embrace the current opportunity to have some input into the concept designs to replace the Avenue.”

It is proposed to replace the elm trees with an avenue of advanced Ginkgo trees, which are more climate resilient than elms, but which still display incredible yellow autumn colour.

The plan also includes the establishment of a new double perennial border beneath the trees, which will be one of the longest in Australia and will be in keeping with the heritage value of the Botanic Gardens.

“This will reinvigorate the northern part of the gardens and provide a beautiful and dramatic garden feature while the replacement trees are growing,” Mr Costello said.

A real-life example of the proposal will be on display at Gardenesque this weekend, with Council officers and landscape architects on hand to take feedback and answer questions.

Albury Mayor, Kylie King, urged people to attend the Gardenesque festival and offer their thoughts and ideas on the proposal.

“I encourage the community to celebrate these beautiful trees for all they’ve given the Albury community throughout their long lives, but also to consider what comes next as we start a new chapter in the story of the Botanic Gardens,” she said.