No go: Family won't use their lounge because of a threatening tree

Conifer Grove residents Shaun and Ken McCallum are concerned about the size of the large ash tree outside their home and ...
Nigel Moffiet

Conifer Grove residents Shaun and Ken McCallum are concerned about the size of the large ash tree outside their home and want it removed.

A family has declared their lounge a hazardous area over fears of a tree overhanging their property.

The ash tree outside Ken McCallum's home in Conifer Grove, south Auckland is one of the tallest in the street. The family's fear means they no longer use the room.

"The doors to the lounge are shut now," McCallum says.

An ash tree fell outside the home of Conifer Grove residents Carol and Gary Daniel during last month's storm.

An ash tree fell outside the home of Conifer Grove residents Carol and Gary Daniel during last month's storm.

He says the tree is overgrown and especially dangerous during storms but Auckland Council have deemed it safe and are refusing to cut it down.

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Large branches have fallen off in the past and its roots are growing towards his house.

An ash tree, just a few houses down, narrowly missed Carol and Gary Daniel's home when it toppled over the storm in Auckland last month.

This has added to McCallum's worry.

"Look at the size of it. What's it going to do if it hits my house?

"If it comes down it will go right through … we've been worried about it for some time,' he says.

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Carol Daniel says the tree that fell down in front of her property could have killed someone.

"They have been allowed to become very top heavy and despite requests from residents, the council do nothing about these dangerous trees," she says.

Auckland Council head of operational management and maintenance Agnes McCormack says an arborist has assessed the tree and "found that it is healthy with no apparent defects or structural problems".

"For this reason, we do not plan to remove the tree. However, we will prune it further to help reduce the overhang above the private property.

"The roots of the tree are not a cause for concern, and we have not identified any issues in Conifer Grove following the storm last week."

A "visual tree assessment method" is used to check if they are safe or unsafe or if any work needs to be carried out, McCormack says.

This includes looking for signs of recent movement, structural defects, tree health, and recent nearby changes.

The trees in Conifer Grove are inspected and maintained by the council every three years.

This was last done in November and December 2016 and another inspection was carried out after the January 21 storm, McCormack says.

 - Stuff

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