Arborist in bid to save special trees

Changes will have 'massive impact'

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 11/12/2012
Darryl Judd
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ

CLOSE-UP VIEW: Arborist Darryl Judd inspects an oak tree on Te Awe Awe St, one of Palmerston North's notable trees that he says needs greater protection.

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Every second Monday Darryl Judd goes tree hunting - but rather than looking for any old pine, he is searching for Manawatu's notable trees.

The Palmerston North arborist is cataloguing trees in the region in an attempt to protect them in the face of Resource Management Act changes.

He spoke to the Manawatu Standard yesterday after surveying an oak tree on Te Awe Awe St for the New Zealand Notable Trees Register.

"It's important a tree like this gets some semblance of protection," he said.

"There are some changes coming that are going to have a massive impact on our tree population."

The Resource Management Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament this month. The bill restricts councils' ability to protect trees in urban areas by forcing them to identify individual trees or groves for protection under their plans rather than via blanket measures.

Mr Judd said the RMA would lose "a lot of its teeth" when it came to protecting trees.

Trees needed protection, not just from being felled to make way for development, but also from damage to their roots caused during excavation work, he said.

He now volunteered his time every second Monday to catalogue trees such as that oak in Hokowhitu, measuring their size and condition.

"These are the sort of trees that we're trying to capture and register."

Mr Judd, co-owner of Guardian Tree Services, wants to hear from people who think they have a tree worth protecting.

"Please let me know if you think you've got something of great interest."

The oak he measured yesterday is thought to have been planted by French farmer Jean Baptiste Pascal. Mr Pascal retired to Palmerston North in 1908, building a Te Awe Awe St home named Foncala, which still stands.

The oak is on a neighbouring property as the former Pascal estate has been subdivided.

Pascal St in Palmerston North is named after the Frenchman and his brothers Claude and Louis.

Anyone with a tree they think should be added to the register can email pharmtree@inspire.net.nz.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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