Giant ‘widow makers’ to be felled
Families will no longer have to fear the giant ‘‘widow makers’’ threatening their quiet street.
Three gum trees on Wanganui Ave in Herne Bay will be brought down under urgency next week after concerns the next one to fall could seriously injure someone.
Two trees came crashing down in the street during a storm last month.
Resident Geoff Godden says the trees have been a concern for years.
‘‘They’re called widow makers for a reason – these things kill people.
‘‘The next time one of them falls down it could fall on a house and seriously injure someone or worse, kill someone.’’
The trees have dropped branches in the past but residents were shaken when they found cars flattened and their street blocked.
Godden is ‘‘ over the moon’’ that they will be removed. ‘‘Hopefully the rest will follow suit within the next month,’’ he says.
Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have been working together to assess the condition of the trees.
local and sports parks manager Jane Aickin says the eucalyptus nicholii trees, commonly known as peppermint or black peppermint gum trees, are about 30 to 40 years old and are nearing the end of their life in an urban setting.
The three trees show sufficient structural problems to warrant the emergency works, she says.
‘‘The remaining eight trees will be dealt with once a resource consent decision has been made,’’ she says.
Jacqui Millar began collecting residents’ signatures after the storm in support of their removal.
She has spoken to more than 50 households and the consensus is the old gums should go.
‘‘It’s a fantastic result from our perspective, ensuring the safety of residents.’’
Millar will continue to gather support to ensure resource consent is granted to remove the remaining trees as well, she says.
Residents hope to be consulted about what might be planted in place of the old trees.
The council will also assess trees on neighbouring Kelmarna Ave and Parawai Cres.
The council received more than 900 requests for service regarding tree issues on June 11, the day after the storm.
‘‘Contractors are still working through this considerable list, clearing the fallen trees that are causing safety concerns or blocking access first,’’ Aickin says.
Safety concerns: Wanganui Ave resident Geoff Godden and his son Sam.
Crunch time: A car on Wanganui Ave which was flattened by a gum tree which came crashing down in the June 10 storm.