Are Hamilton's days of leafy charm dying?

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 08:22 26/12/2013

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Hamilton risks losing its leafy charm as trees are topped to protect electricity supply, says Hamilton man Russell Armitage.

A rank of towering trees on the eastern side of Hukanui Rd in Chartwell contradicted the peculiar and stunted row across the road and Mr Armitage said it made the street look awful.

"Of all the streets in Hamilton this one has struck me as the worst example." Mr Armitage was a 20-year resident of Hamilton but has just returned from a four-year stint overseas to witness trees being topped to keep them away from overhead powerlines.

"The council needs to look at this more seriously. This is a main thoroughfare, a lot of people come through here and they just look awful and brutal."

He said plenty of planting had been done throughout the city in his time away and Hamilton's reputation as a city of trees had grown and needed to be maintained.

"So when I see trees like these being butchered, maimed and butchered like this, it is awful."

He said new trees had been planted under powerlines and would eventually grow too close and would have to be cut in the future.

"Does that mean that in 10 years' time they are going to go around and do this? That's just not on," he said. "I'd rather they didn't plant them."

He called for powerlines to be buried to allow the trees to thrive so the city could grow an image of the leafiest city in New Zealand.

"The time is now to have a serious programme of undergrounding. Luckily the new suburbs are undergrounded but these older suburbs which have got some interesting houses and some of the more established trees, don't deserve this." elton.smallman@waikatotimes.co.nz

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