FIFTY-FIVE full-grown trees lining one of Griffith's most historic streets will be cut down next week in a call that has saddened environmentalists and comforted nearby residents.
The yellow box trees in Binya Street have been growing since the 1930s but have recently begun to drop branches up to five metres long.
The trees between the intersections of Illilliwa and Whitton streets will all be felled, as well as another three west of Whitton Street.
Some of the trees considered most dangerous were removed last year after a large branch fell from one, destroying a fence and narrowly missing a child's bedroom.
While local environmentalists were uneasy about the trees being removed, they agreed the safety of residents should be paramount, providing the trees were replaced with another species that maintained the beauty of the street.
Binya Street business owner Ken Cheers, who deals with insurance as part of his financial planning work, said it would just take one forceful wind to cause limbs to fall from a great height and cause serious damage.
"It is sad to see them being removed; those beautiful trees make a big difference to such a wide street," Mr Cheers said.
"But council must mitigate the risk of damage to people and property and when trees are close to houses and parked cars, that's a big risk to take.
"The choice of the next trees to go in there will have to be considered wisely."
Council parks and gardens manager Peter Craig said melaleuca and bottlebrush would be considered as replacements for the box trees but the decision would be based on minimal interruption to utilities such as phone cables and gas pipes.
The decision to remove the trees was made after an internal council review to determine the extent of the risk to residents and their property.
"Some of the weakest branches are 200mm at the base and extend to five metres - imagine the leverage of that if it fell," Mr Craig said.
"Council is not willing to accept the risk these trees pose.
"We can say we have insurance to cover it but, at the end of the day, we don't want anyone to get injured."
Mr Craig acknowledged the trees were an essential part of the streetscape and committed to replacing them "in the medium term".
Local environmentalist Rhonda Miranda suggested plane trees, claret ash or pin oaks as a replacement.
"I like bottlebrush and it has its place but a big, wide street like Binya Street is designed to take big trees, which are wonderful in our desert climate," Mrs Miranda said.
"Council is planting pin oaks in Kooringal Street at the moment; I think they'd be nice down there.
"While I don't feel good about the existing trees coming down in the first place, I can understand people not wanting limbs coming down on their house or car."