The Dudley Park Poplars: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

It was a famous song by English 70s rock group ‘The Clash’; but it’s also a question we need you to answer for us: ‘Should they stay or should they go?’

DudleyParkPoplarsThe ‘they’ we refer to are six large council-owned poplar trees in Dudley Park.

These trees are located at the northern end of Dudley Park near the Park Street gates.

A nearby resident has requested they be removed, as they shed large amounts of catkins (seeds) and “kapok” which becomes windblown and enters the neighbouring property.

This not only makes a mess for the property owner, including inside of the dwelling, but it is also combustible, and has previously been used by vandals to start fires.

Council’s contract arborists have inspected the trees, which are in fair health, although their form individually is poor due to being planted as a group.

The trees, which range in height between 25-30 metres, do provide a high amenity value, offering summer shade and a sense of scale to the large open area of the park.

There is evidence of weaknesses in some of the branch unions, which you would kinda expect given they are senior citizens between 60 and 70 years old, but not to the extent where the trees are considered a safety hazard.

We have managed any issues by branch weight reduction and the removal of any dead wood.

The trees are continually monitored to ensure they are not a safety risk

Council is now seeking your views, which will be factored into a report being prepared for the community board, prior to any decision on the future of the trees.

Should the board resolve to remove them, it is intended that large replacement specimen trees that will eventually grow to provide the same sense of scale will be planted in the same area.

We want to hear from you, so if you have any comments or questions regarding the removal of the trees, please contact Greg Barnard by Tuesday July 25.

Greg Barnard
Parks Community Assets Officer Waimakariri District Council Private Bag 1005
Rangiora 7440

Contact: Matt McIlraith

Phone: 03 311 8902