A PETITION with more than 1000 signatures has delayed Lake Macquarie council's decision about the removal of Toronto's controversial fig trees until at least December.
Nine fig trees, valued at more than $900,000, line the town's main street, The Boulevarde.
At last week's council meeting during public access, resident and environmental enthusiast Ian McKenzie spoke about the trees.
The trees were an asset to the community and should not be removed for another 15 years when they had reached their lifespan, he said.
"Shoppers stay longer, spend more money and return more often to a well-treed street - that is provable research, not just fanciful optimism," Mr McKenzie said.
The trees have come to the council's attention because they have infiltrated underground pipes and begun to interfere with the street's infrastructure, which is privately owned.
Councillor Ken Paxinos said that because the trees belonged to council, it reserved the right to decide what to do with them.
The matter was deferred for further public consultation.