SIX of the oldest, largest and most impressive trees in Tralee Town Park, including the towering beech that stands over the picturesque Rose Garden, are to be chopped down.
The six trees, some of which have stood in the heart of the park for up to 150 years, have died or become so diseased and damaged that they pose a risk to the public and could spread deadly infections to the many other trees dotted around the park.
Two of the most prominent trees that are facing the axe are the massive beech tree located at the centre of the Rose Garden and the large beech located immediately inside the pedestrian gate and close to the public toilet block.
The Rose Garden Beech tree, while outwardly healthy looking, is infected and his split almost all the way up the centre. Council engineers believe it could pose a significant public safety risk as a major storm could easily blow it down, potentially causing massive damage to the park and neighbouring buildings.
Meanwhile the large beech inside the pedestrian entrance must be removed as it has died, having been infected by a fungal growth that has the potential to infect and kill other trees in the park.
Four other slightly smaller trees, one located close to the Rose Garden and three others located along the park's southern boundary, have also become infected and must be felled.
Council management said that while the felling of the trees is deeply regrettable it has to be done to preserve the rest of the park which could be destroyed if the infected trees were left in place.
A period of public consultation has commenced and anyone wishing to voice an opinion on proposals to fell the trees can contact Tralee Town Council.