Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Media release

Yesterday, 2 May 2010, 55 residents of St James Avenue, Papanui, Christchurch attended at meeting in the Upham Room at the Papanui RSA. Nine apologies were received and their support for the trees retention noted.
The history of the trees, their importance as a living memorial to the Fallen in WW2 and the benefits they give to the residents was explained.
The trees were planted on 1 June 1945, less than one month after Victory in Europe on 8 May 1945, and before VJ Day in August 1945. This information comes from council street tree records.
The meeting was then addressed by a tree surgeon of over thirty years experience. He talked in depth about the measures that can be undertaken to ensure the trees can remain in a safe condition, how they can be pruned to allow afternoon and evening light through whilst giving better shape and meeting required CCC safety measurements from foot path, road and power lines.
A robust question and answer session then took place.
The tree surgeon, who is not receiving any payment from the residents, has undertaken to do a complete assessment of all the mature trees in the street. This will be a true and honest report on the trees health and any that are ailing beyond help and are unsafe will be recommended for removal. This meets the avenue’s resident’s requirements.
It was then moved from the floor of the meeting that a show of hands take place to show support for the retention of the trees, this vote was unanimous. It is the opinion of the residents that the significance of the trees to Christchurch and New Zealand as a magnificent living memorial to WW2 should make their full retention imperative during the street upgrade.
The general tenure of discussion was that residents lived in the street as a choice to live with the trees and their historical importance and that it is an honour to have such significant memorial trees at ones gate.
Present at the meeting was Janet Tillman representing the Papanui Heritage Group who has voted unanimously to support our efforts. Janet is related to Harry Tillman who was instrumental in the planting of the Memorial Streets in Papanui.
The meeting voted to form a residents association and elected myself a spokesperson for the residents during the street upgrade process.
We are all in support of the upgrade but have utmost concern for the oaks based on a report from 21.2.2006 by CCC Tree Officer Dieter Steinegg in which he states that 48 of the trees should be removed due to “over maturity, structural decline and disease” if this is done only 12 of these stately trees would remain.  In 1996 the end of the street from Windermere Road was upgraded and nearly all the mature trees removed.
Margaret Howley
May 3, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to add your own comments below:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.