Huge tree re­moval di­vides com­mu­nity

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

The re­moval of a huge Nor­folk pine is di­vid­ing an Auck­land com­mu­nity.

A large Nor­folk pine on a shared prop­erty on Arthur St in Eller­slie will be chopped down this week.

Res­i­dent Mal­colm Cros­bie said the tree was com­ing down on Wed­nes­day be­cause res­i­dents were wor­ried it was un­safe and they wanted to im­prove their prop­erty with an im­proved car­port.

‘‘The main driver is we want to get our car­port fixed up,’’ Cros­bie said.

Be­cause it wasn’t a ‘ no­table’ tree un­der Auck­land’s uni­tary plan no con­sent was re­quired to cut it down.

Orakei Lo­cal Board mem­ber Troy Chur­ton did not know the par­tic­u­lar Nor­folk pine, but said the board was try­ing to stop Auck­land’s eastern bay’s ‘‘leafy sub­urbs from be­ing eroded’’.

He said the board wanted prop­erty own­ers to con­sider whether they needed to chop trees down.

‘‘We’re not anti pri­vate prop­erty rights, but we want peo­ple to con­sider whether they need to chain­saw down trees on their prop­erty,’’ Chur­ton said.

The board of­fered up to $2000 to spend on main­tain­ing what prop­erty own­ers be­lieve were ‘no­table’ trees.

On so­cial me­dia site Neigh­bourly.co.nz opin­ions were di­vided about whether the tree should be cut down or re­main.

Re­muera res­i­dent Tracy Mal­colm said she hated see­ing iconic trees around Auck­land dis­ap­pear­ing.

Glen Innes res­i­dent Rachel Crowther said she thought it was a beau­ti­ful tree and it added to value to the land­scape.

’’Per­haps our coun­cil could con­sider main­tain­ing it and oth­ers like it so we are not left bereft of large trees in our ever in­creas­ing dense land­scape of build­ings,’’ Crowther said.

Eller­slie res­i­dent Juliet Ware said she was sad see­ing a big tree be­ing chopped down but could un­der­stand the owner’s safety con­cerns.

Mount Welling­ton res­i­dent Rob Houi­son said Nor­folk pines were con­sid­ered by many as a ‘‘hor­ri­ble over­sized weed’’.

‘‘They are dirty and their seeds are very dan­ger­ous and can cause real in­jury if they hit near the eye,’’ Houi­son said.

‘‘I am a be­liever that all Nor­folk pines should be pruned at ground level.’’

Re­muera res­i­dent

Leech said ‘‘take it away’’. Robyn

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