Work started today on removing a heritage tree in Nelson's Millers Acre car park after a large crack was found in its trunk, the Nelson City Council said.
Horticultural supervisor Peter Grundy said a decision was made to take action quickly before the tree broke up and posed more of a risk to the public in a busy pedestrian area.
The tree is a Quercus palustris on Halifax St, at the exit to the car park.
A Nelmac arborist found a serious crack in the main trunk in the central crown.
Caci Clinic director Melanie Potter, whose business is across the road, arrived at work today to the sight of the tree coming down.
"We saw them putting out the cones yesterday and thought they were about to prune it.
"But I got to work at 7.45am today and saw they were taking the whole thing."
Ms Potter said it was a beautiful tree that would be missed by many.
Her staff used it as a handy landmark when directing people to the clinic.
"Hopefully they'll plant something else," she said. Mr Grundy said options for bracing or pruning the tree were considered,
However, none would have solved the problem because of the size of the crack.
"Immediate removal of the tree was recommended before the tree broke up," Mr Grundy said.
He said the tree had been a wonderful specimen for many years in the street.
It was likely more trees would be planted in the area, in line with the city's Heart of Nelson strategy.
- The Nelson Mail
Does Nelson deserve to be classed as a city?Related story: (See story)