Leave our trees
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.
Donna and Mark Tavendale with the Manawaroa St Judas tree.