Wrong tree, wrong place

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 15:00 19/12/2012
douglas fir
Jared Nicoll
Time to leave: The Marlborough District Council plans to cut down this douglas fir tree at the Picton Powerhouse Maritime Reserve site in Wairau Rd, following overwhelming support from councillors.

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A last-ditch attempt to overturn a council decision to cut down a douglas fir tree in Picton has failed.

Deputy mayor Jenny Andrews and two other Marlborough district councillors said the landscape committee wanted the tree retained, and recommended delaying its cutting down for five years so it could be reviewed.

"It's a a healthy tree," she said.

Councillor Peter Jerram said the assets and services committee which had voted to chop down the douglas fir tree in the Powerhouse Reserve car park in Picton should be renamed the "slash and burn committee".

He noted it had made the decision while he was absent. Mr Jerram is a noted tree-supporter, and regularly opposes public trees being cut down.

"While the cat's away, the mice started to play. I can smell the gorgonzola on their breath."

He questioned information the councillors had, saying the tree was 70 years old, not 20, and it should be retained.

"If we cut down every introduced tree because it dropped litter onto people's roofs, there wouldn't be any trees in Marlborough," he said. Councillor Jessica Bagge also argued for the tree's retention.

However, the rest of the council disagreed, saying the tree did not fit with the native plantings in the rest of the reserve.

Picton's Seaport Trust Project co-ordinator Carey White requested the removal of the tree in September because its falling cones created a mess and it blocked light, shading the trust's offices.

The council did not receive any objections from the community about the tree's removal, and councillors voted the tree, while healthy, was the "wrong tree in the wrong place".

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- The Marlborough Express

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