Mortlake's memorial trees to soldier on for now

CYPRESS trees lining Mortlake’s iconic avenue of honour have been given a clean bill of health after concerns they were under attack from diseases. 

But a section of trees commemorating soldiers who perished in World War I is nearing the end of its lifespan, raising questions over whether it should be replaced. 

Moyne Shire sought advice from an arborist in November following widespread cypress tree deaths around Mortlake. 

Cr Jill Parker said the community felt very strongly about maintaining the trees that lined the township’s eastern gateway. 

“It certainly identifies Mortlake so we want to make sure that we can have them for as long as we can,” Cr Parker said.

“Each tree has a plaque beneath it so it’s fairly significant. 

“There had been trees around Mortlake that had died and I wanted to make sure the avenue wasn’t affected. 

“There isn’t any sign of major fungal attack.”

An arborist has recommended trimming older trees to extend their life expectancy. 

Cr Parker said she was likely to raise the issue of the avenue’s future at this month’s council meeting. 

A final report is yet to go to council. 

Moyne Shire environment manager Robert Gibson said council would work with the RSL to decide the avenue’s future. 

“If anything it raises the question of the long-term future of the avenue,” Mr Gibson said. 

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