Port Chalmers arborist Jelte Buddingh, from Omni Tree,
works with the help of a crane to remove an ailing common
beech from the Dunedin Botanic Garden this week. Photo by
Four large trees have been felled at Dunedin's Botanic
Garden after years of trying to bring them back to good health
Two oaks, a New Zealand beech and a common beech had to come
down because their condition was becoming a safety issue,
Dunedin Botanic Garden curator Alan Matchett said.
Park staff had been monitoring the health of the trees for
years, in particular a 120-year-old common beech in a row of
beech trees near the southern entrance to the garden.
The row of trees suffered from years of tractors and people
working around their base when a lawn ran right up to it.
A camellia bed had been extended to run under the row of
trees and staff had been treating them with tea compost to
stimulate soil activity and improve root systems and uptake
of nutrients, but the particular tree had not responded.
It was taken down in chunks, cut up and removed. A local
woodturning group took some of the wood, while the 4.5 tonne
butt might become a feature elsewhere in the garden, Mr
The other three trees had also been treated for years, but
branches had started splitting and the trees were becoming a
''We don't take losing a tree lightly. We try and maintain
the integrity of the garden, but there comes a time when
these decisions just have to be made.''