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Tree register needed


Twenty years ago I was new to Gisborne and was working for Fruitfed checking bugs in orchards. Working in our group was a man whose name I can't remember but he owned a block of land on the corner of Bloomfield and Bushmere roads, and drove a cool Subaru ute. He had a passion for plants and in his lifetime he planted a belt of native trees around his boundary. Many of you will be familiar with the puriri rows on Bloomfield Road.

Driving home on Tuesday I was greeted with the death of large cabbage trees, 50-year-old totara and kahikatea trees; standing still were the puriri rows.

Immediately I contacted the GDC planning office, who kindly said they would get back to me, and posted on social media — obtaining an outcry but no solutions.

What a sad day for the original planter and for those of us who value having such significant habitat for native species, in this day of Trees that Count, A Billion Trees and enhancing habitat this seems a backward step for the flats.

My point is landowners can do whatever they like to trees on their own land, I am told by a GDC councillor, but the developers must obtain consent to undertake the development and they need consent to burn off the debris.

Why when that consent is granted by GDC is there no consideration for the natural habitat on the block?

We are all poorer for the loss of these trees and I would be interested to know how many of you would support a Significant Tree Register to protect plantings and historic trees on your own properties. The thought that when I die and my block is sold, that the trees planted 200 years ago and the trees that I have planted in my life could be piled up in the paddock and burnt for intensive apple growing is appalling.

Robyn Wilkie

  1. Dave says:

    I for one agree with you, Robyn. New neighbours-to-be cut down some lovely old native trees – they were not blocking their sunshine. Sad to see trees that have been around for between 80 to 100 years be cut down. I am not against cutting some trees down, as often the person who planted them probably had no idea how big they would grow, but I do think we need a tree register to make sure that trees are not cut down without a reasonable reason.