Troublesome trees to take a trim only

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 17/10/2012

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The height of the largest trees in Chaucer St will be reduced to provide a more consistent appearance, and root barrier material will be installed along the edge of the footpath.

Trees in both Chaucer and Grasmere streets were on the council's district services committee agenda yesterday, with some residents in both streets unhappy with the state and size of the trees.

Earlier this year staff recommended Chaucer St trees be replaced, but councillors disagreed and sought a report.

Parks and recreation manager Bill Steans recommended the height of the largest trees be reduced slightly to provide a more consistent appearance and root barrier material be installed.

Mayor Janie Annear said the residents would not be "totally happy" as the trees were not being topped.

"Trees are the ambience and essence of our community. We need to look after them . . . trees are owned by everyone not just those who live beneath them."

Trees were part of the area's heritage, Cr Richard Lyon said. He supported the slight height reduction of the Chaucer St trees.

"I would not support a stampede towards clear-felling Timaru."

Not so keen on the Chaucer St option were Crs Damon Odey and Hamish Fraser.

Cr Fraser considered felling and replacing the trees was a better option.

Meanwhile, councillors also gave consideration to Grasmere St's pin oaks, which many residents believed were "completely out of control".

But while some residents wanted the trees cut by at least half their height or removed, others said they had moved to the street because of the trees.

Mr Steans said the pin oaks would not recover well from topping and if the footpath continued to be resurfaced as necessary, the only concern was leaf drop. He recommended no change for the trees and councillors agreed.

It was agreed that, in future, council would deal with trees on a street-by-street basis.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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