Felling some trees and trimming others

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is undertaking tree work which is expected to continue until the end of the month.

The programme includes the removal of a beech tree in the Queenstown Gardens, "Unfortunately, the tree has been progressively dying over the last few years and it is now at the stage where the dead branches are threatening the glasshouse and tennis court area," the council's parks manager, Gordon Bailey, said.

The council's policy was to replace trees if possible and therefore a new tree would be planted at the site.

The Wellingtonia trees next to the Queenstown District Court building were in line for a trim because high vehicles were brushing against some branches.

Near the Novotel Gardens Hotel, a large macrocarpa and a large Douglas fir would also be removed since they were "likely to become unstable as they continue to grow", Mr Bailey said.

"If they fail, then they could threaten the hotel."

He said this year the council had planted more than 250 trees.

At the council's community services meeting last Tuesday, Mr Bailey recommended the removal of evergreen trees, mainly Douglas fir, eucalyptus and pine, from the lake side of the Frankton track.

Reasons for the removal were listed in a report presented to the committee, with an emphasis on the danger the trees posed to sewer pipes running next to the track.

The pipes were due to be upgraded, but as the upgrade was now on hold, Mr Bailey said the "council should proceed with the tree removal as a standalone project".

Committee chairwoman Cath Gilmour opposed the removal without a guarantee the trees would be replaced shortly after.

The committee decided a site visit was necessary before putting the issue out for public consultation.