Rockledge residents protest removal of 100-year-old oak trees

Majestic oak trees line a stretch of Rockledge Drive, greenery that residents say is a part of their community's history.  Now, the hundred-year-old trees may be torn down.

"The trees are all why we are all living on this road," said Michelle Maricic, the president of the Rockledge Drive Tree Coalition. 

Brevard County officials laid out their plans to trim or remove about 30 oak trees on a nearly two-and-a-half-mile stretch of road on Rockledge drive. 

"We have gotten some complaints and some concerns about the tall branches from these oak trees that have overgrown the road where it has posed some safety concerns for people who have gone down the road on recreational vehicles, waste management trucks, county fire trucks, and ambulances," said the Brevard County Communications Director Don Walker.

It's a controversial plan that has disappointed many locals, sparking protests and petitions.

"It would be in everyone’s best interest to preserve this beautiful place that is very much a part of the history of this county," said resident Matthew Nylen.

Oak trees in Rockledge

Maricic said their goal is to prevent these century-old oaks from being cut down.

"We are fortunate to have had some international as well as community support for the funds. Certainly, we are raising the funds to be able to support what is necessary for signage. We are all happy to pitch in and put signs on the road where necessary," Maricic said.

The coalition even created a fundraiser to raise money to keep the trees standing. They have raised about $9,000 so far. 

Walker says they will reimburse residents up to $2,000 to plant new trees.

"They can’t speak for themselves, they can’t defend themselves. So they have us," Maricic said.

The county says tree removals could begin as soon as August 18’th, but it’s still an open-ended discussion as they try to work with homeowners.

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