Twelve historic pohutukawa trees in Hinemoa Park have been felled because their deteriorating condition posed a risk to the public, says the council.
Hinemoa Park, located near to Birkenhead ferry terminal, has been home to 61 native pohutukawa trees since the 1920s.
Birkenhead and Northcote parks officer Bob Wallace says a lack of knowledge about correct treatment of the trees had contributed to their demise.
“They go back to the 1920s and 1930s, and historically have had poor pruning techniques which is one of the many factors which caused the decline,” he says.
Mr Wallace says that little attention had been given to the ground around the trees, and they had been thickly planted.
Some remaining trees are also sick, but the North Shore City Council is planning an intensive care programme including careful pruning and monitoring in an effort to save them.
Thirteen large pohutukawa will take the place of those cut down but if more felling is necessary there will be no more replanting. “The existing trees will be given a bit more room to breathe,” says Mr Wallace.
Birkenhead resident Jane Roberts says she is unhappy the historic trees have been removed.
“The trees in Hinemoa Park are just beautiful.
“I feel like the council gave residents no say in the matter before they were cut down.”
Mr Wallace says the council had no choice in the matter as the trees posed a safety threat both to the public and parked cars.
A rigorous consent process was followed before the go ahead was given, he says.
“We also did extensive circulation around residents, and put brochures on cars,” he says.
– Sophie Schroder is an AUT journalism student
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times