Time to talk about trees

Today is the first meeting of a new Tauranga City Council sub-committee tasked with dealing with the city’s tree issues.

The Tree Management Sub-Committee was formed after councillors began complaining about the amount of time the full council was spending adjudicating neighbourhood disputes over trees.

Silver birches on Stephens Place in Tauranga.

Until now tree disputes and tree issues had to go before the full council if ratepayers were unhappy with the city arborist’s decision.

The new sub-committee is chaired by first term councillor Tony Christiansen assisted by Bill Grainger as deputy chair, and councillors Larry Baldock, Murray Guy and Terry Molloy. Mayor Stuart Crosby is ex-officio with voting rights.

The business of the first agenda is discussing petitions to remove silver birch trees from Freyberg Street and Stephens Place.

Silver birches were once planted all around the city suburbs, but they have since been taken off the council’s approved species list due to their untidy habits, opening the door for removal petitions.

Today’s trees are in Freyberg Street Otumoetai and Stephens Place in Hairini.

A resident living 73 metres away from number 83 wants the healthy Silver Birch removed from outside the property because of debris. He wants it replaced with a jacaranda.

There is strong support from other residents at number 23 to eight for removing the tree.

A Stephens Place resident also wants two silver birches felled as tree debris is causing health concerns and discomfort to a pre-existing medical condition.

An earlier request to council from the same resident resulted in removal of a large silk tree within two metres of the driveway and a silver birch that was crowding out a more favoured golden elm. The earlier fellings were consistent with the council’s tree policy.

 The two Silver Birch street trees located outside of 52 Stephens Place are well located and in good health.


Phailed asks ...

Posted on 08-02-2013 11:02 | By Murray.Guy

’...in Freyberg St didn’t the 2 residents most affected want the existing trees retained? They did not say they wanted the tree retained, they said they didn’t care if it stayed. Overwhelming support was to remove and replace. Regarding who pays, in an ideal world where there was no scarcity of funds, the parks department would likely use funds from the general rate and remove the most inappropriate trees city wide. This is not feasible.

Why is it a win for residents?

Posted on 08-02-2013 10:49 | By Phailed

Cr Guy, you say this is a win win. I have to disagree on two counts. First, why do residents have to pay to have trees that are no longer approved by council, taken out and replaced? Second, in Freyberg St didn’t the 2 residents most affected want the existing trees retained? Makes me think that win win is just more councillor speak???

Thanks Murray

Posted on 08-02-2013 07:38 | By Mr bay

Good to here about the remuneration, what about all the silk trees around otumoetai they are 10 times more messy than the humble silver birch.

Meeting costs ...

Posted on 07-02-2013 18:18 | By Murray.Guy

Councillors on this committee do not receive any additional remuneration. The Committee agreed by majority that the silver birch trees be removed and replaced by an approved tree species, conditional on the petitioners meeting all costs associated with the removal and replacement. A win/win outcome.

So what about

Posted on 07-02-2013 16:54 | By Sambo

Pohutakawas, they cause more damage than silver birch trees, so lets trim and thin them as well, so they are at a manageable level, or is it just the common old silver birch for the chop!!!


Posted on 07-02-2013 15:25 | By charob

who in thre right mind would plant silver birches close to houses or roads. They grow huge. Yes i agree with Mr Bay. Planting ever green natives is a fantastic idea


Posted on 07-02-2013 14:08 | By poops

how about fruit trees. do Jacarandas have less debris - really!

Replace them.

Posted on 07-02-2013 13:37 | By Sarbreenah

Why not replace the silver birch trees with native evergreens? Preferably a species that doesn’t cause so much debris.


Posted on 07-02-2013 13:13 | By Mr bay

I hope that these councilors are not paid extra for being on this sub-committee as it will end up costing more than the trees.

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