Surprise over opposition to fell Lawrence oak

The Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board has decided this oak tree near the top of the town’s Zig-Zag...
The Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board has decided this oak tree near the top of the town’s Zig-Zag Track will be cut down because of safety concerns. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
It is yet to get the chop, but the felling of one tree in Lawrence appears to have reverberated far and wide.

The chairman of the Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board admits he has been surprised by the reaction to the decision to fell the tree.

Geoff Davidson.
Geoff Davidson.
The community board decided earlier this month the mature oak tree, which can be seen from Lawrence’s main street near the top of the town’s Zig-Zag Track linking Lancaster and Colonsay Sts, would be felled because of safety concerns.

The tree was a safety hazard because its acorns and leaves made the steep track slippery.

Consultation had been carried out over the felling of the tree and just one submission had been received.

Lawrence resident Peter Flower had submitted the tree was perfectly healthy and did not need to be felled.

The decision to chop down the tree has raised the ire of many Lawrence residents, with comments on social media and public calls for the tree to stay.

A sign was erected on the tree for a couple of days saying the tree should be left alone.

Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board chairman Geoff Davidson admitted he was surprised by the reaction.

"We went through consultation and got just one submission. We took the advice of the arborist, who recommended the tree be removed for health and safety protocols," Mr Davidson said.

"There was enough consultation about it at the time."

The board might look at another option but it was a health and safety issue, Mr Davidson said.

The acorns falling from the tree were slippery underfoot and the roots of the tree damaged the path.

The arborist report, from Toby Young of Waitahuna firm TreeArb, said the tree could lead to potential slip or trip hazards, causing "significant or severe consequences".

The only alternative to felling would be daily maintenance of the path during autumn, to remove leaves and acorns.

The tree would cost $3500 to fell and no date has been set for it to be axed.

Comments

Why should there be any surprise that people object to a healthy tree being cut down because it drops leaves and acorns? That is what oaks do, or maybe the so called arborist didn't know. I have no doubt if it was a 'native' tree there would be no question of it being felled. Are can't watch where they are walking?New Zealanders so out of touch with the outdoors that they

Yeah well, the Dunedin Botanic gardens better watch out if any on this committee ever get control there. Bulldoze all the trees and concrete all the grass. Gee, rose thorns could maul someone to death - they have to go first.
Gotta make it safe for the idiots who can't watch where they are walking. Sheer stupidity, really.

"The only alternative to felling would be daily maintenance of the path during autumn, to remove leaves and acorns." Surely that is the best solution - saves a mature tree with all its aesthetic and CO2 consuming values, and provides someone with some extra employment.

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