Huge Norfolk pine removal divides east Auckland community

A Norfolk pine on Arthur St in Ellerslie will be chopped down on Wednesday.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

A Norfolk pine on Arthur St in Ellerslie will be chopped down on Wednesday.

The removal of a huge Norfolk pine is dividing an Auckland community. 

A large Norfolk pine on a shared property on Arthur St in Ellerslie will be chopped down this week.

Resident Malcolm Crosbie said the tree was coming down on Wednesday because residents were worried it was unsafe and they wanted to improve their property with an improved carport.

Because the Norfolk pine isn't a notable tree in Auckland's unitary plan, no consent is required to fell it.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Because the Norfolk pine isn't a notable tree in Auckland's unitary plan, no consent is required to fell it.

"The main driver is we want to get our carport fixed up," Crosbie said. 

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Because it wasn't a 'notable' tree under Auckland's unitary plan no consent was required to cut it down. 

Orakei Local Board member Troy Churton said the board wants property owners to consider whether they need to chop trees down.
JASON OXENHAM/FAIRFAX NZ

Orakei Local Board member Troy Churton said the board wants property owners to consider whether they need to chop trees down.

Orakei Local Board member Troy Churton did not know the particular Norfolk pine, but said the board was trying to stop Auckland's eastern bay's "leafy suburbs from being eroded".

He said the board wanted property owners to consider whether they needed to chop trees down.

"We're not anti private property rights, but we want people to consider whether they need to chainsaw down trees on their property," Churton said. 

The board offered up to $2000 to spend on maintaining what property owners believe were 'notable' trees. 

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​"It's a small fund to reflect we want our valued intergenerational amenity of mature vegetation to remain." 

On social media site Neighbourly.co.nz there opinions were divided about whether the tree should be cut down or remain.

Remuera resident Tracy Malcolm said she hated seeing iconic trees around Auckland disappearing.

Glen Innes resident Rachel Crowther said she thought it was a beautiful tree and it added to value to the landscape.

​"Perhaps our council could consider maintaining it and others like it so we are not left bereft of large trees in our ever increasing dense landscape of buildings," Crowther said. 

Ellerslie resident Juliet Ware said she was sad seeing a big tree being chopped down but could understand the owner's safety concerns. 

Mount Wellington resident Rob Houison said Norfolk pines were considered by many as a "horrible oversized weed".

"They are dirty and their seeds are very dangerous and can cause real injury if they hit near the eye," Houison said. 

"I am a believer that all Norfolk pines should be pruned at ground level."

Kohimarama resident Justine Cavanagh said she had no issue with the tree being cut down because it wasn't native. 

Remuera resident Robyn Leech said "take it away".

 - Stuff.co.nz

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