OH NUTS: Grafton Public School student Alex Fischer, 11, with some of the pecan nuts he is collecting from the trees before they are removed from the school. Photo: Adam Hourigan
OH NUTS: Grafton Public School student Alex Fischer, 11, with some of the pecan nuts he is collecting from the trees before they are removed from the school. Photo: Adam Hourigan

End in sight for trees, it’s nuts

MOST days, Alex Fischer comes home from school with a pocketful of pecans.

So do most students at Grafton Public School.

And so did their parents.

And their parents' parents.

But in a matter of weeks, the 27 pecan trees at GPS will be cut down and the tradition will be no longer.

"It's definitely sad," Alex, a Year 6 student at GPS said.

"They add to the school and people always say how cool our playground is because of the trees."

The New South Wales Education department has called for the trees' removal after a statewide inspection following the death of a student in Sydney from a branch that fell from a gum tree.

A spokesman for the department said an arborist attended the school in February and deemed all 27 pecan trees a hazard because of internal rot.

The trees have been made out of bounds and removal work is out to tender,

Work is expected to start on removing the trees towards the end of term.

"Negotiation is underway with millers and wood turners to ensure the timber is put to good use within the school or made available to local tradespeople," the spokesman said.

As to whether trees will be replanted in the same place remains uncertain, as does whether shade sails will be erected to replace the shade of the trees.

"The school's student and staff Green Team has prepared a number of options for planting new trees of suitable species and the school will explore additional shade options," the spokesman said.

Alex said he and the other students would miss the trees once they were gone.

"The shade they provide is really good and you can sit under there in the rain and not get wet," he said.

"I always come down at lunch time and it's great to play hide and seek.

"Plus the nuts are really fun to crack open."

The iconic pecans date back to the mid-1900s. Most were planted between 1938 and 1942 and about a dozen were planted in 1970.



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