A Katikati resident is dismayed with Tauranga City Council’s decision to replace felled trees in the city centre with another large species.
John Deans says the Council’s decision to replace felled Illawarra flame trees on Grey Street with katsura trees makes no sense as they will grow to be bigger than the predecessors.
A felled Illawarra flame tree on Grey Street.
Council began removing the Illawarra trees last week after the roots started blowing out cobbles on the road and there were issues with birds roosting in the trees.
A Tauranga City Council communications advisor Marcel Currin says three high priority trees have been removed, including two trees near the intersection with Elizabeth Street.
Work to remove two more trees is expected to begin today.
He says the felled trees are being replaced with palms and katsura trees as they are less desirable for birds to nest in. Tree pits will also be built to protect the infrastructure.
But 74-year-old John Deans says council has made the wrong decision choosing katsura trees as they can grow to larger than 55feet in circumference and 30metres tall.
“Another problem is they don’t seem to be particularly suited to this environment,” says John.
“It would be a lovely tree at McLaren Falls Park where it has room to grow – it’s not the sort of thing you put in the street.
“It’s just so sad to plant the wrong trees in the city for the wrong reasons.”
John, who is a tree enthusiast and past council consultant for parks and reserves, says if the council are trying to curb the bird populations, changing the tree type will not help.
He says the birds’ food sources need to be controlled or the problem will not stop.
“If people continue to feed the sparrows in any form they will continue to live there.”
John wants to see citizen input as to what should be planted.
“There are some very qualified people within the district who could make good suggestions.
“You really want a tree that’s not going to outgrow the size of the area in which it’s planted.”