Remaining poplars' fate as yet unknown

Contractors remove poplar trees from the side of SH6 near Cromwell earlier this year. PHOTO: ADAM...
Contractors remove poplar trees from the side of SH6 near Cromwell earlier this year. PHOTO: ADAM BURNS
It is uncertain whether hundreds of poplar trees near Cromwell face a similar fate to the ones axed earlier this year.

More than 400 of the trees have been culled along State Highway 6 as part of safety measures carried out by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

The agency is working through a risk management assessment for the remaining trees along the Ripponvale stretch.

NZTA Central Otago maintenance contract manager Mark Stewart said 410 tree removals had been completed to date.

"We will be removing more trees in coming seasons as to remove one out of two effectively raises the falling over risk for the remaining trees," Mr Stewart said.

He said the agency was engaging with residents on how to remove the axed trees from the site.

"Potentially we are looking at cutting the timber into manageable sizes for removal by community groups."

There were previously about 1200 trees along a 2km stretch near the Central Otago town.

Culling of the trees began in August as the agency had found them to have rot and historical fire damage.

The agency has previously ruled out replanting the area with the poplar species due to the problems the agency has with them near highways and their relatively short lifespan.


The reason given for not replanting is I think, pathetic. They were a beautiful and popular autumn sight. Short lifespan? They have been there longer than I remember and I'm an octogenarian

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