Residents' bid to re-plant Talltree St stunted

Leonie Jackson is one of a trio of residents calling for trees to be re-planted along Talltree...
Leonie Jackson is one of a trio of residents calling for trees to be re-planted along Talltree Ave. Photo: Geoff Sloan ​
Talltree by name, but less so by nature.

Three Avonhead residents are pushing to have their street restored to its former leafy glory.

Leonie Jackson is one of a trio campaigning to have more trees planted along Talltree Ave. However, underground cables are proving an obstacle.

This was the conclusion of an arborist’s memo to the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board, which took up the issue after Jackson and her neighbour Louise Callaghan spoke to the board in August.

The presence of power cables within the mid berms preclude any planting, the memo said.

However, the board is continuing to look into the situation and has requested information on the cost of planting.

Jackson said she hoped the cables could be worked around in some way, such as by extending the kerb for more planting space.

She was annoyed the cables were hindering the planting she, Callaghan and Sophie Robb had been asking Christchurch City Council to implement for about 10 years.

"We started asking before those cables were laid, it was a different reason then," Jackson said.

She had written to the council and never received a reply, while Callaghan and Robb were told the planting was not possible for various reasons, she said.

The avenue had been a beautiful place before about 75 per cent of the trees were removed.

"We’ve been here for 30 years and when we moved in, it was a beautiful tree-lined avenue. There are still some trees dotted along it.”

Sophie Robb, Louise Callaghan and Leonie Jackson. Photo: Supplied
Sophie Robb, Louise Callaghan and Leonie Jackson. Photo: Supplied
However, some trees became diseased and were never replaced, leaving many gaps, Jackson said.

"It’s a huge change. We thought ‘how many more are we going to lose before someone does something?’ There are potentially 18 spots in our street where we could have trees.”

The situation was frustrating, especially as Christchurch is known as a garden city.

Jackson would happily donate and plant a tree herself if she were allowed to, as would other residents, she said.

"I just think it could be made a real feature of.

"If people are proud of their street and proud of the area, it makes such a difference.”

City council acting transport operations manager Stephen Wright said the council’s position was outlined in the arborist’s memo provided to the community board.

"The cables were not installed by council and were installed by service providers," he said.  

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