The Queenscliff Avenue of Honour is a living tribute to the servicemen and women associated with the Borough of Queenscliffe who sacrificed their lives during World War I. These trees are now over 100 years of age and a plan for their ongoing management and eventual replacement is required.
The Avenue of Honour Reference Group was formed in late 2017 and has continued to provide information and feedback to Council on the future management of the Avenue of Honour. The maintenance and replacement strategy for the Avenue will not only need to ensure the health of the trees and maintain public safety, but preserve the connection between the past and the future as well, so that the Avenue can continue to represent a memorial for our fallen soldiers.
The Avenue of Honour is important to the local community and at the time of planting, at least half of the trees had been paid for by the local residents. The planting of these memorial trees was intensely personal and for many townships like Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale, they acted as a focus of remembrance for a grieving community. It is recognised that Council together with the local community are very passionate about the maintenance and care of our local trees.
While each of the trees in the Avenue varies in health and life expectancy, independent arborists have notified Council that large sections of the Avenue have an expected life of less than ten years. Many of the trees are also affected by an incurable disease. Council has responded to the declining health and age of the Avenue’s trees by commencing strategic planning for replacement and renewal.
Council tasked the Avenue of Honour Reference Group with selecting a species of tree for replacement planting. An independent arborist provided the Group with several options, and graded each tree on its shape, growth rate, susceptibility to disease and a range of other factors. The Reference Group elected to replace the trees with the same species: the Monterey cypress tree. Councillors endorsed this recommendation for planting in two of the Avenue’s existing gaps at the November 2019 Council meeting.
Council are now conducting trial plantings of Monterey cypress trees to ensure they grow well next to mature trees and are resistant to disease. If these sample trees perform well, Council will begin replacing the existing trees with the poorest health. Because Monterey cypress trees only grow at a moderate pace, this process is expected to take several years from when Council first orders sample trees to when the first tree replacements are made. Council will continue to conduct health and risk assessments on existing trees to ensure the Avenue remains safe throughout this process. Some dangerous and dying trees may need to be removed sooner than others in order to protect public safety.
A team of arborists from Homewood Consulting assessed a total of 112 Monterey cypress trees in the Borough of Queenscliffe in early 2015, and prepared a Tree Management and Replacement Plan in May of that year.
Read the executive summary(PDF, 2MB)
Read the full report(PDF, 23MB)