Leave our trees

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Page 3

Chain­saws won’t be sing­ing in Manawaroa St this week af­ter an ef­fort by res­i­dents to save their road­side trees.

The pro­posed tree felling was part of a plan to pro­vide a new av­enue en­trance along the Manawaroa St berm for the Victoria Es­planade in Palmer­ston North.

The vi­sion, an­nounced dur­ing last year’s IPU In­ter­na­tional Spring Fes­ti­val, calls for the street to be lined with flow­er­ing cherry trees, match­ing the gar­dens’ Park Rd en­trance.

There’s a prob­lem with that idea ac­cord­ing to Manawaroa St res­i­dent Donna Taven­dale.

It means the re­moval of es­tab­lished ma­ture trees. And while Taven­dale was not wor­ried about all the trees in the street, she cared about one in par­tic­u­lar, a Cer­cis sili­quas­trum or Ju­das tree out­side her house.

Not does it only pro­vide screen­ing from a con­crete wall across from the house where she and her hus­band Mark live, but in spring it bursts into a pro­fu­sion of pink blos­som.

‘‘There is no other tree of its type in our area or at the Es­planade,’’ Taven­dale said.

‘‘It is a lovely sight when it is in flower and ev­ery year we get peo­ple tak­ing pho­tos of it.

‘‘When we were told they were plant­ing cherry trees be­cause ap­par­ently peo­ple don’t know the Es­planade is here, I was dumb­founded. Per­haps a sign would be more help­ful than cherry trees.’’

City Net­works’ Ray Swadel said the coun­cil wouldn’t fell any trees un­til af­ter fur­ther en­gage- ment with peo­ple in the street.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously there’s some feel­ing about this and we need to try and work it through with the res­i­dents. There’s no in­tent to railroad any­one, and we’ve de­layed the work to try and reach a com­pro­mise.’’

Taven­dale said she and her hus­band would be the most af­fected by the tree’s re­moval, and while she was ‘‘try­ing to be rea­son­able about it’’, any re­place­ment tree was go­ing to take years be­fore it would be able to screen the wall op­po­site.

‘‘We have big­ger is­sues in the street than re­plac­ing the trees. There’s park­ing prob­lems and no street light­ing.’’

She also claimed a lack of con­sul­ta­tion over the re­moval and re­place­ment of the tree.

News about the re­moval of the tree sparked nu­mer­ous re­sponses on Neigh­bourly, over­whelm­ingly in favour of keep­ing it.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Donna and Mark Taven­dale with the Manawaroa St Ju­das tree.

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