Resident wants roadside tree to be replaced

A St Clair man says he was told to head down to a garden centre after he repeatedly asked the Dunedin City Council to replace a roadside tree near his home.

Trevor Mattingly said the tree, which had once stood opposite his Pretoria Ave home, had been cut down by contractors employed by the council after being damaged in wild weather earlier this year.

St Clair man Trevor Mattingly is unhappy the Dunedin City Council has failed to replace a tree...
St Clair man Trevor Mattingly is unhappy the Dunedin City Council has failed to replace a tree that came down in wild weather earlier this year opposite his Pretoria Ave home. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH

In its place, a patch of dirt and bark lay on the grassy verge, which he said detracted from the appearance of the tree-lined avenue.

While tidying up the patch would be a good start, he wanted the council to plant a new tree.

"All we really want is this mess cleaned up and a new tree. We've got a lovely neighbourhood.''

Mr Mattingly said repeated calls to the council had failed to elicit a satisfactory response, and he had been repeatedly "fobbed off.''

Last week, the 67-year-old said he had called the council and been told by a staff member to buy his own tree at a garden centre.

While he was happy to mow the roadside verges outside his home, he did not think he should have to plant a replacement tree.

The tree damaged in severe weather earlier this year and later cut down.
The tree damaged in severe weather earlier this year and later cut down.
Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West said the council was responsible for trees planted on its land.

"When one of these trees blows over or otherwise falls on to the road or footpath, it is removed as soon as possible, because it can create a hazard for pedestrians and motorists.

"This was the case in this instance and the work was carried out to a good standard.''

"The grass will be reinstated at a later date.''

Asked about Mr Mattingly's allegations that he had be told to buy and plant his own tree, Mr West said he was "confident none of our staff would respond to a customer request in such a manner.''

"We will consider replanting fallen trees on a case-by-case basis during planting in May,'' Mr West said.

george.block@odt.co.nz

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