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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council tree specialists recently assessed the much-loved but aging poplars along Somerset Road.

Branches from some of the mature poplars (approximately 50-60 years old) posed a risk to people using the road and this was a health and safety concern for the local community. Subsequently, two trees which had reached a poor state were identified and removed for the safety of the public. 

Now a long-term phased removal and succession planting program is being established for Somerset Road, which is anticipated to take around thirty years to complete. Whenever a particular tree reaches a state of decline that requires safety intervention, it will be removed if necessary and replaced with at least one new tree.

“We know these trees are really valued by our community.  We wanted to find a way that keeps the trees as long as possible as they age, keeps everyone safe, and nurtures new beautiful mature trees for our future as well,” says Puketāpapa Local Board Chair Julie Fairey.

“We’ve created this plan and promoted it to ensure our community knows what is happening with this iconic local avenue and check that it meets our goal of acting as custodians for our people, and our trees, now and for the future.”

Auckland Council Urban Forest Specialists and arborists will conduct annual inspections to ensure that existing healthy trees are maintained, and any identified deadwood or defective branches removed.

“Our efforts are focused on maintaining the existing trees so they can remain in place for as long as possible while new trees establish,” says Natalie Marsden Auckland Council Senior Urban Forest Specialist.

“Replanting with the future in mind, we recommend using a diverse mix of long-lived valuable tree species able to cope with drought, urban constraints and considerations such as pests and disease risk, growth and height, ecological and bird food source aspects, amenity, Auckland’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy and climatic changing conditions.”

The following diverse species options have been suggested for the avenue renewal: Rewarewa, Pohutukawa, Hornbeam, Titoki, Oak, Jacaranda, KoheKohe, Gingko, Acer and Puriri.

Have your say

Have your say on the plan on our website.

Consultation closes on 16 August 2021.