A CANDLELIT vigil is scheduled this evening in a bid to spare 13 fig trees from the chop.
Protesters will meet at the corner of Wauchope’s Hastings and Young streets at 5.30pm for a peaceful gathering.
It comes after a Port Macquarie-Hastings Council decision to remove the Hastings St fig trees, between Young and Bain streets, to prevent future damage to private property and public infrastructure.
Three Hastings St residents spoke at last week’s council meeting about property damage caused by invasive fig tree roots.
Council administrator Garry Payne said there were liability issues in relation to the trees.
The 13 fig trees will be replaced by 11 advanced brushbox.
A council report said the removal of the figs from Hastings St, between Young and Bain street, would fully address the issue of “root interaction”, which caused private and public property damage.
It also would remove the risk of pedestrians’ trips and falls.
Hastings St resident Margaret Baker said her home had been damaged and there were ongoing sewerage issues in her backyard.
“I’m not putting up with it forever,” she said.
“At the moment it is disgusting ... there are tree roots sticking up everywhere, and I often see people tripping over them.”
Fix our Figs Wauchope and District Action Group member Adrienne van Spanje believes the problem can be fixed without chopping down the trees.
“The overwhelming opinion of the broader community is disbelief, anger and outrage,” Ms van Spanje said.
“It was the community’s understanding the trees were safe.”
An impromptu meeting was held on Monday night between members of Fix Our Figs Wauchope and District Action Group, Save Our Figs Group, Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and the general community, including some Hastings St residents.
The Wauchope community fought to save the Hastings St figs three years ago.
Work has just finished in Hastings St, from High to Young street, with the fig trees as the centrepiece.