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Huge Tree Clean Up In Full Swing

Damage to trees around Christchurch is now being assessed by the City Council to determine its full extent.

Already a great deal of work has been carried out but reports, expected to be completed by the end of today, will give a clear picture of the work remaining to be done. The Council's Parks Unit Manager, Craig Oliver, said today that the major areas of concern where property could be damaged were being handled immediately. "We really want to get a good of the assessment of the damage which has a potential to damage property and life." "A lot of people may question why we are taking trees down but that is being done only when it is a health and safety hazard or it is believed the roots are so damaged the tree will come down in the next high wind," Mr Oliver said. Also, because of today's wind many broken branches are still falling and the public is warned to take extreme care under mature trees. At the weekend contractors worked on the clearing of streets and power lines. "Now we are concentrating on getting the major parks back to normal," he said. Most parks were open but dangerous areas were roped off and Mr Oliver asked the public to adhere to the restrictions until remedial work can be done. "We are trying to get all the parks open for the weekend," he said. People wanting to take wood from fallen trees can do so as long as it is cut up. No vehicles are allowed in parks and no chainsaws can be used. "Only cut timber can be taken," Mr Oliver said. The clean up will take a considerable time, he said. "However, the Council has already done good work in the clean up." Because of the high water table some parks will not be mown for sometime. "We ask people to be patient about this until the contractors can get round." He wanted people to let the Council know about tree damage or trees leaning - if the damage had not yet been notified.

Gardens

The Botanic Gardens was not too badly damaged but some areas were roped off as branches were still hanging in trees. Mona Vale and Hagley Park were opened but access was restricted because of damage. It is hoped that a major clean up in both parks will be done by Wednesday. A number of tracks on the Port Hills have been closed because of tree damage or slips. Efforts are being made to have major tracks open to limited use as soon as possible, Mr Oliver said.

Further information: Craig Oliver: 025 341 155 or 371 1691.

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