Otago Daily Times

Tree prun­ing ques­tioned

- EMMA PERRY emma.perry@odt.co.nz Dunedin · Otago Region · Claremont

TREE prun­ing by the Dunedin City Coun­cil on a sub­ur­ban street has drawn the ire of some res­i­dents.

Clare­mont St res­i­dents say trees lin­ing the street have been trimmed much more than usual and have sub­se­quently been ‘‘butchered’’ by coun­cil con­trac­tors.

The coun­cil says the trees have been pruned us­ing pol­lard­ing, a method that will make them more ef­fi­cient to man­age in fu­ture.

The Otago Daily Times was con­tacted by sev­eral res­i­dents on the street who were un­happy about the prun­ing.

War­wick John­son said he was leav­ing his home for a walk just over a week ago when he heard the sound of a wood chip­per.

‘‘The first we be­came aware of it was the loud crunch­ing sound of the chip­ping ma­chines.

‘‘My wife and I stood and watched hor­ri­fied as the trees got smaller and smaller and thought we need to find out what ex­actly the coun­cil were do­ing.’’

Within two or three days one side of the street had been ex­ten­sively pruned, and one tree had been com­pletely felled, Mr John­son said.

‘‘Every cou­ple of years they are trimmed be­cause there are power lines above them.

‘‘I un­der­stand the ne­ces­sity of it but this time around there’s been much more than nor­mal . . . I do won­der what an ex­pe­ri­enced ar­borist would say.

‘‘It’s one of the fea­tures of the streets; the trees lin­ing it are what makes it one of Dunedin’s nicest . . . [the prun­ing] demon­strates a less than care­ful stew­ard­ship of city as­sets.’’

He con­tacted the coun­cil sev­eral times to ask why they had been pruned so heav­ily but had not re­ceived a re­sponse.

A Dunedin City Coun­cil spokes­woman said the trees had been pruned us­ing a method known as pol­lard­ing.

‘‘This is a com­mon form of prun­ing and in this case the trees have been cut back to their orig­i­nal, first pol­lard point (called a knuckle).

‘‘The height th­ese trees have been pruned to will make them more ef­fi­cient to man­age in the fu­ture, which will lead to op­er­a­tional cost sav­ings over time, but will also en­sure they do not en­croach on the over­head pow­er­lines.’’

The coun­cil was in­tend­ing to main­tain an an­nual prun­ing sched­ule with the trees in the fu­ture, she said, the pri­or­ity be­ing the trees lo­cated un­der­neath pow­er­lines.

‘‘Where pos­si­ble, we will al­low trees not at risk of in­ter­fer­ing with elec­tri­cal in­fra­struc­ture to grow more nat­u­rally.’’

 ??  ??
 ?? PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN ?? Trees in ques­tion . . . A pol­larded tree on Clare­mont St, Maori Hill.
PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN Trees in ques­tion . . . A pol­larded tree on Clare­mont St, Maori Hill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand