Colourful replacements for felled trees

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:01 12/07/2012
Herbert Ave
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ

STUMPED: Herbert Ave trees that survived a storm in January have been cut down to make way for matching rows of bell flowering cherry trees. Tyler Berge, 12, Kristin Berge, 11, and Zac Judd, 5, pound the pavement.

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Once a tree-lined Cloverlea street, Herbert Ave is temporarily decorated by a row of stumps ahead of a replanting project in the spring.

The trees took a lashing in January's wind storm, many toppled or damaged so badly they had to be removed to ensure public safety.

In May, the city council sacrificed the survivors that remained vulnerable to future storm damage.

Contract engineer for horticulture Murray Phillips said the stumps had been treated to prevent regrowth, and would be ground down in September or October to clear the berms for the new trees.

The replacements would be Prunus campanulata Felix Jury, otherwise known as a bell flowering cherry.

The trees are deciduous, grow to 6 metres, and produce red bell-shaped blossoms in spring which attract native birds. The leaves turn burgundy in autumn.

Mr Phillips, in charge of some 16,000 street trees in Palmerston North and Ashhurst, said there was an art and a science to choosing the right species.

The wrong trees could cause significant damage to footpaths and vehicle crossings, kerb and channelling and underground services.

Herbert Ave residents have been informed of the plans for their street, and Mr Phillips said there had been no feedback, which he took as a sign people were happy with the arrangements.

Mr Phillips said the trees had been received, and should establish quickly after planting out.

Residents were asked to help by watering them during dry spells, but not to pile lawn clippings around the trunk of new trees, and to leave all pruning and maintenance to council staff.

Money for the replanting comes from a $32,000 budget for renewals.

Jupiter St and Jackson Ave will also be re-treed this year from the same budget.

The money is also used to replace individual trees when residents report they have been damaged or have died.

A separate $13,000-a-year budget for new plantings will benefit Lancaster St, Alton Pl, Wigan Pl, Millbrook Pl and Peter Hall Drive.

Mr Phillips said all street residents and landlords would receive notification prior to planting.

Their letters will include information about the tree species selected along with a general description of its characteristics, and the location of individual trees.

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- Manawatu Standard

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