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Hastings tallest tree staying but getting a topping

Tree staying but getting a topping

A decision has been made on the future of the district’s tallest tree: the poplar (Populus deltoids) in Frimley Park.

It will be kept, but to preserve it and to make it as safe as possible, about nine metres will be cut from the top of the tree. The work will start on Monday [April 16], weather permitting, and take about three days.

In November cracks and movement in the base of the tree were discovered and a security fence was installed out to the ‘fall zone’ to keep Frimley Park users away from it while arborist advice was sought.

After receiving recommendations from arborists, Council has made the decision to heavily prune the top canopy of the tree as the best way to reduce the risk to public safety while retaining what is a significant and protected tree, said Council’s parks and property services manager Colin Hosford.

“We are assured that the base of the tree is stable and that reducing he canopy of the tree will get rid of any die-back, reduce the weight and therefore risk in high winds. We do want to keep this old tree for as long as we can; while remembering that it cannot last forever.

The tree was believed to have been planted in the 1870s. The taking of nine metres from the top would mean it would lose its tallest tree status, which would now belong to the noted gum tree in the Havelock North Village Green. The Frimley Park poplar would still hold the largest girth record of any tree in Hastings’ public parks and reserves, measuring 10.17 metres.

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