Dudley Park Trees Acquitted

The question ‘Should they stay or should they go’ was unanimously decided at the Rangiora-Ashley Community Board meeting last Tuesday night, and the trees are staying.

treesSix Black Poplar trees located at the northern end of Dudley Park were on trial recently with the charge of causing a nuisance. The trees, thought to be around 60-70 years old were under the spotlight recently when nuisance causing factors were bought to the attention of Council.

One of these factors is the copious amounts of white cotton-wool like seed pods, commonly known as ‘Kapok’ that the trees produce in September and October. Another nuisance is the invasion of tree roots into drains causing blockages and spreading through neighbouring gardens.

The Community Board considered other factors while making its decision, including the amenity value the trees provide, shade for park users in summer, their character, ecological diversity and support to bird and insect life.

Rangiora-Ashley Community Board Chair Jim Gerard says “The feedback we received from the community was overwhelming in favour of keeping the trees. Many of the issues they are causing will now be mitigated, which will help reduce the impact the trees have and address some of the concerns raised by residents. Particularly during the September and October period”.

The Council Staff carried out public consultation with surrounding residents and invited feedback via Facebook. 158 replies were received with 96% expressing a strong desire to keep the trees.