A row of trees nearly turned a Dunedin playground into a
Arborists fell condemned cherry plum trees near the
Caversham Bowling Club yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Asplundh arborists contracted by the Dunedin City Council
to cut down three cherry plum trees in Kew Reserve, Caversham,
were interrupted yesterday morning, when local residents took
exception to the work.
Two of the original five trees between the park and Caversham
Bowling Club were cut down last month, when locals also
objected to their removal.
''We've had a neighbour on 'tree watch' since last month, who
rang me as soon as she heard the chain saws,'' Kew resident
Lyndon Weggery said yesterday.
''When I got there at 8.30am they had already started, so I
asked them politely to stop and they did.''
He was joined at the scene by local residents Jim Milne and
''It's pretty disappointing when the first indication you get
that something's happening is the chain saws starting up.
They didn't tell us anything,'' Mr Milne said.
The arborists had an early smoko for an hour before DCC parks
officer Richard McAlevey arrived on site at 10.20am and,
after briefly talking to the residents, ordered the arborists
to continue work.
''I'm absolutely shocked at this decision. It's the worst
case of vandalism I've come across in all my years dealing
with the DCC,'' Mr Weggery said.
''It's about community consultation. The information the
council is going off to justify their removal is from a 1998
However, the removal of the trees was welcomed yesterday by
the Caversham Bowling Club, which has been overshadowed by
them for the past 15 years.
''The trees shade the green all year round. It's been a big
problem for a long time,'' green keeper Lyndon Broadley said.
''In mid-winter, half the green is in shade. There's a
six-degree temperature difference between one end and the
DCC parks manager Lisa Wheeler said the council was
duty-bound to complete the process it had started 15 years
''We were following up on the development plan that was
agreed upon after public consultation in 1998,'' she said.
''The decision went through council and those trees should
have been long gone by now.
''The bowling club have been very patient.
''We're going to make it a clean site and then
comprehensively replant the area with natives within the
month or, hopefully, even the next fortnight.''