PILES of branches, leaves and roots lined the banks of the Condamine River yesterday leaving several members of the Warwick community and an environmental group upset by the removal of the trees.
Warwick River Improvement Trust secretary Tim Kajewski said removal was part of the river trust work.
"The trees removed near Hamilton Oval were chinese celtis, privet and willows," he said.
"Some oaks that were damaged by the flying foxes and dying have also been removed.
"The trees were removed in consultation with the Condamine Alliance.
"The river trust, council and Condamine Alliance will be undertaking replanting of natives in spring."
One member of the public, who has been involved with the Warwick fish stocking association and wished to remain un-named, said the planting should have been done before the willows were removed.
"I have no problem with the removal of the willows, they are not indigenous to Australia and would need to come out in the future," he said.
"But the trees should have been replaced before the other ones were removed.
"It will take some time for the habitat to grow back."
Warwick Fish Stocking Association secretary/treasurer Ed Kemp said they did not agree with how it was happening.
"But there is nothing we can do about it," he said.
"There have been measures put in place to get greater conservation in the future."
Warwick River Trust member and Southern Downs Regional Council deputy mayor Ross Bartley said other trees could not be planted until the willows were removed.
"Willows have a large canopy which prohibits growth underneath it," he said.
"It is about maintaining the capacity of the stream, which is important as we saw during the recent floods.
"The trees need to be on the banks and not in the streams.
"It causes flooding and results in the banks caving in or slumping."
Cr Bartley said he would prefer to have native trees growing along the river than willows.
The fish stocking association were not the only ones raising concerns about the removal of the trees.
Several community members contacted the Daily News when they noticed the clumps of branches on the banks.
They were concerned about the effect on the water fowls, fish and the river.
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