Towong Shire councillors prefer to remove all 37 elm trees damaged by last summer's bushfires at once to maximise the opportunity to secure funding for the major works.
The five councillors last week considered the fate of the trees planted more than 100 years ago in honour of locals who fought in World War I and following a recent public meeting in the town.
The preference of the Cudgewa Community Recovery Committee, established in the aftermath of the fires, was to remove every second tree and those needing immediate attention and also undertake a crown reduction on the remaining trees to make these safe until such time as they were removed.
But mayor David Wortmann confirmed councillors were unanimous in support of all trees being removed at the same time as a "priority project" and a replacement program be instigated in conjunction with the community.
"Our preferred option is to take them all out at once because we might be able to get some funding," he said.
"If we take out every second tree we will lose that opportunity.
"It is a very expensive project and we are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it.
"They are huge trees.
"If there is a chance to get some money through bushfire recovery we are going to go down that path."
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Cr Wortmann said the trees were coming to the end of their useful life before the fires hit the Upper Murray town in late 2019.
"The arborists have been there and had a look and recommended they come out," he said.
The council had been keen to avoid the furore, which erupted when fire-damaged trees were chopped down at nearby Tintaldra.
Arborist Joshua Spence found most of the trees were in good health but were structurally poor with their main unions full of rot and decay, which presented concerns of falling limbs that could impact traffic and pedestrians.
His report prepared for council recommended: "Performing a major crown reduction on the elm trees will reduce the stress and load put on the main unions of the trees.
"This will prevent branch failure, but still retain the trees while the replaced juvenile trees become more established.
"This method would be a short-term solution only."
The Cudgewa Avenue of Honour is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and requires planning approval before undertaking any works.
A memorandum of authority is also needed from Regional Roads Victoria, formerly VicRoads, before works take place within its managed road reserve.
The cost to replace all trees is about $400,000.
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