Some of the grandest trees around Lake Wendouree are likely to reach the end of their natural lives over the next few years.
Visitors to the area may see several of the oldest being knocked down in the coming weeks. Work was under way to remove one 150-year old pine tree to the north of the lake on Friday afternoon
Drier than usual conditions over the past decades and old age were factors in the culling of the towering conifer near Durham Point. Up to 10 trees in total have recently been identified which need urgent removal.
Many of these old pines are up to 150 years old, which is at the upper end of their life span. Over the next decade you will probably see an increasing need to remove themMitch Kemp, City of Ballarat arborist
Mitch Kemp, the council's supervisor of arboreal culture, said many of the older specimens were in decline.
"Many of these old pines are up to 150 years old, which is at the upper end of their life span," he said.
"Over the next decade you will probably see an increasing need to remove them."
Inspections can take place using a simple hammer to check on the tree structure.
For more complicated assessments, Mr Kemp said a machine called a sonic tomograph was used to determine the trees' health.
He said that while climate change in the future was likely to have an effect on the life span of trees, the city should be able to maintain its trademark mix of trees.
"We will probably fare better than other parts of Victoria," he said. "Most [exotic species] are proving to be fairly resilient."
He said that Ballarat's milder climate could mean the European trees will thrive here more than in many other places in the state - making the city's mix of trees even more of a feature.
Cr Mark Harris meanwhile said many more trees were being planted than culled - and that removals only happened when necessary.
No one likes to see [trees being knocked down]. We make every effort to make sure they last the full extent of their lifetimeCouncillor Mark Harris
"No one likes to see [trees being knocked down]," Cr Harris. "We make every effort to make sure they last the full extent of their lifetime."
"We love our botanic gardens and one of its peculiarities is that unfortunately our tree stock reflects when it was planted, which was 100, 150 years ago.
He said there was no plan to change the character of the gardens or species planted due to warmer weather, and that new plantings would carry on the same aesthetic.
The council has put aside $500,000 for the Regreening Ballarat Project, which means several trees should be planted for every one lost.
The council's Urban Forest Action Plan also aims to increase the city's canopy cover to 40 per cent by 2040.