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Tree felling causes concern

A leafy green street in Masterton is losing its big trees so the council can carry out stormwater work.

Masterton District Council planned to cut down the large canopy liquidambar trees on King Edward St, starting today, a local resident said.

King Edward St is a tree-lined road at the northern end of Masterton. The large deciduous liquidambar trees, planted at regular intervals on both sides, are a feature of the streetscape and typically grow to between 25 and 40 metres tall.

A Masterton District Council spokesperson said it advised residents on September 7 of the work to be done.

“It is regretful to see large trees removed but, on this occasion, we are unable to carry out the necessary stormwater upgrade works and guarantee the health of the trees,” the letter read.

The letter said contractors would shortly remove the large canopy trees on the non-powerline side of the street.

“Weather permitting, it is planned to remove the trees between the second week in September and the end of September. This work should be completed within two days and may result in minor disruption for short periods.”

MDC planned to re-plant a lower-growing street tree next year after the drain upgrade was finished.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” the letter concluded.

However, a resident who wanted to remain anonymous, said they hadn’t received a reasonable explanation as to what other available options were, and there had been no consultation.

“I feel it could lower the value of our street and will certainly reduce the appeal,” the resident said.

“We are gutted. The trees add a lot of beauty and appeal to the street.”

The resident said the process could have been better managed.

“We would have liked an explanation how the council upgrading the stormwater system was a risk to a tree.”

The resident said there were benefits to the removals though.

“There will be more sunlight, fewer leaves to clean up, and less risk in case they [the trees] fall over. But it’s a shame to lose 20 years of beauty.

“It’s just about the process. The communication could have been better.”

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.


  1. Too many trees being cut down by Councils lately -they are irreplaceable – people need to be more informed and fight back -who makes the decision?

  2. Bloody typical council…if you want to cut some trees you have to get a consent but councils are a law unto themselves doing what they want that other ratepayers arnt allowed to do……YOU know what to do when the council election comes up…

  3. Why is it always the easiest option to chop down trees ? These innocent trees have been there for years , I remember them as a paper boy . and make this street beautiful . Unless the drain work goes directly under these trees , then the contractors should work around them . If it costs a little more , so what . You can’t buy history and natural ambience in a town that has taken years to create . Yes the drain work is important , but retaining these trees even more so .

  4. The vandals are at work again.

    Resdident of King Edward should be demanding answers.
    Vague reasons for stormwater update affecting the beautiful Liquidambers is unacceptable..
    Vandalsing the trees has been planned for months.I was first told by a resident this was to happen months ago.
    On enquiring from councillors if this was true I was assured there were no plans to fell the trees,
    Obviously councillors are kept in the dark about infrastructure decided by staff ,be they qualified or unqualified.
    Look out Jordan Terrace.Contractors will be eyeing up your street trees.

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