End is near for Picton's plane trees

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 07:57 06/02/2014
Plane tree
Germari Hersleman
One of the troublesome Plane trees in High St, Picton
1911
Then & Now, Picton & The Marlborough Sounds
High St, Picton in 1911

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Opinions vary over the removal of nine remaining plane trees in Picton's main street.

The High St trees were topped earlier than usual this year in preparation for their removal.

The Marlborough District Council's reserves and amenities officer, Robin Dunn, said the council had been planning to remove them for a while, but other matters had taken priority.

"The reinvention of the top half of High St has been on the cards for a long time and the removal of the trees is a small part of that.

"They have been topped earlier this year to save costs, as we had a contractor doing work in the town and we could include the pollarding in that. The lower half [of High St] is looking great," he said. "When we removed the plane trees there, most were rotten and would have become a danger if left."

New trees would be planted in autumn, but the species had yet to be decided.

The plane trees had caused problems, such as roots damaging roads and pavements, complaints of branches scratching cars, and the trees taking up parking space in front of businesses, he said.

Shop owner Feebe Busch said their removal was great news.

"Take them away and level the road - they are an eyesore compared to the lower half of the road and are a safety issue for people in wheelchairs . . . it will only keep getting worse," she said.

Broadway Motel employee Jill Strick said she did not mind the trees being cut down as their leaves were annoying to clean up.

"It would be nice if they are replaced with some other trees; natives perhaps, or some planter boxes with flowers."

T and O Takeaways owner Terie Pawhau said she found it sad that the trees would be cut down. "I know there is a good reason for it, but they provide really nice shade in the hotter months. We have been here 15 years and the trees are the one living thing in upper High St. It is a pity they couldn't just build planter boxes around them," she said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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