Historic trees could be vulnerable
‘‘The trees were grown from seed collected at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli and approved by Council for planting in 2008. ’’
Historically minded Matamata residents are concerned by proposed changes to tree protection.
The number of protected trees in the district could drop from 667 to 93 under proposed changes by the Matamata-Piako District Council.
The main concern for Pauline Raphael, who has submitted in opposition to the plan change, was that memorial trees that had been planted in memory of fallen soldiers, school anniversaries or other significant acheivements by schools would no longer be protected. The council had met with historical societies across the district to ask for their input, council’s communications officer, Adele Preston, said.
Raphael said anyone who oppossed the plan change was understanding about trees that were causing damage to properties. She said if a tree was causing problems it should be easier to prune or remove.
Preston said the council was trying to make that happen, as well as reducing the costs in relation to protected trees.
Once the plan change becomes operative, likely to be later in 2016, any tree that is no longer protected by the District Plan would become like any other tree on private property.
Raphael would prefer someone with landscaping and community gardening expeirence was also involved in the assesement of the trees in the area. She thought the Standard Tree Evaluation Method assessment threshold of 140 that Arborcare were proposing was too high.
Preston said Plan Change 48 was motivated by making sure the protected trees were still healthy.
Another submitter, Ron Moles, requested two Turkish Red Pines near the RSA section of Matamata Cemetery be added to the Protected Trees schedule.
The trees were grown from seed collected at Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli and approved by Council for planting in 2008.
The trees were two of very few of the species in New Zealand – most Gallipoli pines in this country were other species which did not originate from the Gallipoli area, he said.
The council is calling further submissions until February 18.
Submitters will have the choice to speak in support of their submissions at the Plan Change hearing, which is likely to be in the next couple of months.