Land­mark oak faces the chop

Hawke's Bay Today - - Local News - An­drew Ash­ton

Last week­end’s gales ap­pear to have spelled doom for one of Hast­ings’ old­est res­i­dents.

Hawke’s Bay To­day un­der­stands that a mas­sive oak on Wolse­ley St, lo­cated out­side the Brit­tany House rest home, is to be chopped down next week be­cause of safety fears — much to the dis­ap­point­ment of some.

Peter Mor­gan said he had come to love the tree, which is thought to be 150 years old.

“I was so an­noyed when I heard the tree was go­ing to come down and be made into fire­wood.

“It’s just so sad that a tree, af­ter 150 years, that looks 100 per cent to the naked eye (has to come down) but ap­par­ently the top of it is rot­ten.

“When I heard about it I just thought ‘oh my God’. I guess it’s go­ing to hap­pen on Mon­day that they will come in and chop it all down.”

Mor­gan said he was a fre­quent vis­i­tor to China where they could do “amaz­ing things” to keep trees alive, in­clud­ing re­plant­ing ex­ist­ing trees.

He sug­gested more lo­cal coun­cils here should take a leaf out of their book.

“I’m go­ing back to China later this month and I’m hop­ing to take this fur­ther.”

It is un­der­stood re­cent high winds in Hawke’s Bay caused safety con­cerns.

A Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil spokes­woman con­firmed the tree was on pri­vate land and not listed as pro­tected un­der the coun­cil’s dis­trict plan. “As such, no re­source con­sent is needed to chop it down.”

Brit­tany House did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

PHOTO / PAUL TAY­LOR

Peter Mor­gan takes a fi­nal look at the doomed oak on Wolse­ley St.

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