Golden red and brown are the shades of autumn that many of us love.
The romance, however, has worn a little thin for East Maitland resident Ray Mudd who battles the council-planted liquidambars each year.
“I’ve got a belly full of it, so I thought: ‘Hang it, I’m going to do something about this’,” he said.
“I’ve contacted council but they won’t do anything about it.”
The leaves require constant attention, he said, while the roots get into the sewage line and are a drain on his pocket. Each year Mr Mudd gives the plumber $400 to deploy the electric eel – money the council won’t reimburse.
“The plumber’s a mate, not an extortionist, it could easily be costing me more,” he said.
Maitland City Council general manager David Evans said council’s position was to retain street trees wherever they were healthy, unless there were issues of public safety to consider.
“Council has a commitment to maintaining appropriate street trees and greening our city,” he said.
“Council appreciates that trees do sometimes cause issues on public and private land and, while I empathise with the situation the resident finds himself in, these issues are part and parcel of living in an environment that supports natural vegetation.”
Mr Mudd said there was nothing pretty about the mess the trees made.
“The liquidambars are a nice looking tree for a couple of weeks a year, but once they drop their leaves it’s a nightmare,” he said. “There’s so many there it would sink a battleship.”
The trees were, by Mr Mudd’s estimation, planted 20 to 30 years ago.
“If I’d have known they would be like this they wouldn’t have survived.”