Six sick 60-year-old trees face the chop

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

South Waikato District Coun­cil is de­vel­op­ing plans to re­move six trees that line the cen­tre of Bridge St in Toko­roa as they are in poor con­di­tion.

While plans are still be­ing fi­nalised, coun­cil’s Parks and Prop­erty man­ager Greg Shaw said work to re­move the 60- year- old trees, which in­cludes two on ei­ther side of the Bridge and Man­ner­ing streets round­about and the two clos­est to SH1, will be­gin in two months. ‘‘It is half a dozen we ini­tially looked at as be­ing quite sus­pect.

‘‘When you look at them you will see that a num­ber of them have crowns that are quite thin com­pared with the oth­ers that have thick crowns,’’ he said.

Which was a re­sult of age and lo­ca­tion, Mr Shaw added.

‘‘Be­cause they are planted in the mid­dle of a medium strip, they’re rather con­tained. They [ex­perts] talk about a drip line of a tree, so the out­side of the leaves and the very out­side of the crown is where the drip line is. In the­ory from the crown of the tree up to the drip line should be per­me­able.’’

The tree’s lo­ca­tion means they were not re­ceiv­ing the proper aer­a­tion, he said.

‘‘ The ini­tial as­sess­ment was done early in Spring [2011] when some were in full leaf but there were sev­eral that weren’t look­ing so well.’’

The work to re­move the trees will be done at week­ends so the im­pact on the pub­lic is re­duced.

‘‘Be­cause we will have to close the roads . . . We would like to re­plant but we need a bit of time to think about that. We need to se­lect a species that will do well and last for as long as pos­si­ble.’’

He said the re­main­ing trees were in ac­cept­able con­di­tion but would be fre­quently mon­i­tored.

Mariam Price, who owns the store Books Alive – which is di­rectly af­fected by the trees – sup­ports the coun­cil’s move to take them down.

‘‘Ev­ery morn­ing I have to sweep up the leaves out­side the door and the ones that have come in­side.

‘‘We have the leaves that are up in the gut­ter be­cause they are go­ing in there. So the leaves are a prob­lem,’’ she said.

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