Neighbours not fans of trees

SARAH JARVIS
Last updated 05:00 29/08/2014
Tree protest
John Bisset / Fairfax NZ
TREE TROUBLE: Tay St residents would like the council to either cut back or replace the street’s large oak trees. Pictured from left, Sheree and Ray Ellen, Harley Hedges, Russell and Nicola Lorimer.

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Tay St residents want the Timaru District Council to prune, or remove and replace, large trees in their cul-de-sac street.

Written submissions to the council outline concerns which include the size of the trees, safety concerns, and increased leaf drop.

A street meeting was held with the residents and a report has been prepared for the district services committee meeting on Tuesday.

It is council policy to plant street trees and not top them, unless overhead services or tree health considerations dictate otherwise.

The report highlighted three possible options; to continue as at present, trim trees to reduce height, or to remove the trees and replace with more appropriate sized species.

Ray Ellen and Sheree Ellen have lived in Tay St for more than 40 years and had to clean their spouting three or four times a year.

Ray, 74, said it was too expensive to get someone in, so he did it himself. "The leaves are contributing to an increase in property maintenance. As well as leaves in the spouting, there's a large buildup of leaves at our back door. Each day in the falling season I have to sweep the back steps before I use them as I can't see the steps."

The Ellens want the trees topped. "Years ago they use to top them because of power lines, but that hasn't happened for 10 to 15 years and since the lines were put underground."

Russell and Nicola Lorimer built in Tay St a year ago and assumed the trees would be pruned by the council.

"The trees are really old, big and ugly and shade our house. We know some people will say ‘the tree was there before you were' but we didn't realise the council weren't going to look after them. . . in autumn the leaves are just a pain in the butt."

The Lorimers want the trees to be removed and replaced with more suited evergreen trees.

Two recommendations have been made.

The first was that the oak trees be removed and replaced with more suitable species that can be accommodated in the long term; and the second is that the council policy of non-topping of street trees be rescinded allowing more options for staff to deal with similar situations.

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- The Timaru Herald

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