An application to fell two monkey puzzle trees in Teddington has sparked objections from neighbours and councillors.

A resident of Fulwell Court in Stanley Road wants the trees to be cut down on the grounds that they are “too big” and pose “potential damage” to the property beside them, while “branches are falling on a public path”.

However, the evergreen trees, which are native to South America and can live for 1,000 years, are much loved in the area.

One neighbour said: “The applicant seeks to fell two magnificent monkey puzzle trees that he has responsibility for but does not own.

“They add to the visual amenity, provide privacy and prevent further unauthorised parking on the garden area at the front of the block.

“The application claims that the trees are ‘too big’ and pose a potential risk to the property and passers-by, but provides no evidence to support either argument.

“As a long-term leaseholder of the block, I am unaware of any actual or suspected damage or injury that would warrant felling.

“The leaseholder in question is however responsible for the maintenance of the trees, and that includes appropriate attention to any branches that become diseased or at risk of falling.”

Chairwoman of the Teddington Society, Sheena Harold, said: “These are very distinctive and highly unusual trees for an urban main road and we would be loathe to see them felled.

“Already the brick wall entrance to the flats has been bashed about and is very unattractive.”

The trees are under a Temporary Tree Preservation order, organised by Teddington Councillor Martin Elengorn, who said: “They are an important part of the townscape and I hope and believe that objections to the TPO will be overruled and the TPO made permanent.”

A TPO is an order made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees from damage or destruction.

Richmond Council spokeswoman said: “Following reports that the monkey puzzle trees at Fullwell Court were under threat of removal the Council has served a provisional TPO.

“The council is currently consulting on whether the TPO should be made permanent, should there be objections raised the council’s planning committee will review the proposed order and the representations.

“They will then make the final decision as to whether or not a permanent TPO should be implemented.”

Councillor for Fulwell and Hampton Hill, Jonathan Cardy, has also objected to the application, saying the trees are “an important part of the streetscape” in the area.

There are no comments of support on the application.

Monkey puzzle trees were introduced to England in the Victorian era.

It is illegal to cut down the trees in Chile because after heavy logging, the species has been categorised as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Global Red List.