Kodie Josefski hugs a leopard tree someone is trying to save in Mary Street.
Kodie Josefski hugs a leopard tree someone is trying to save in Mary Street. Craig Warhurst

Tree decision divides residents

A BID by Gympie Regional Council to slowly remove Mary Street’s leopard trees has divided the region’s residents.

While some traders and shoppers agree the seedpods the trees drop are dangerous and they should be removed, others don’t think a leopard should change its spots and want to keep the trees.

An anonymous caller yesterday told The Gympie Times they would be tying yellow ribbon around the trees and attaching notes to try and save them. The caller invited others to tie ribbon around the trees they wanted to save and said they would do all they could to get council to change their minds.

“Some of us like the trees and will be doing all we can to save the trees,” the caller said.

Also yesterday Mary Street trader Sonya Ricketts said she had seen a number of people slip on the leopard tree’s seedpods which “rained down” in the wind and hit cars and pedestrians.

“It will be much nicer and safer when they are removed. I’d hate for my nana to slip,” she said.

Mrs Ricketts agreed the trees were beautiful but said they were a “health hazard”. And that view is mirrored by business owners up and down the main street, who attended recent Mary Street trader meetings. Comments on The Gympie Times website said the trees gave the street “some atmosphere”.

Another asked how long it would take the replacement trees to grow big enough to provide shade.

“The money could be better spent on a tourist venue...” the writer said.

Other comments welcomed the news saying the trees were “nothing but trouble” and should “never have been chosen”.

Council is looking at three new species to substitute for the leopard trees and only a couple of trees per year would be replaced a recent meeting heard.

Have your say: leave a comment below or email carly.morrissey@gympietimes.com

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