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New tree species likely in square

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

Replacement trees for Masterton’s town square are likely to be planted next autumn, and if an independent expert’s advice is accepted, will be of a different species to those uprooted in March.

While a final decision on which species of tree will be planted rests with the district council’s Street Tree Advisory Group, the council is expected to take the advice of the independent expert who has recommended not again planting plane trees.

According to a report prepared by senior council staff for the information of councillors the tree expert said the trees, originally planted in the centre quadrant of the square, had struggled to survive and were eventually taken away and mothballed.

The trees had root quality problems.

This, he said, had resulted in the root system not extending out into the soil medium.

The expert said this was a common symptom of trees that had been left in a bag or pot for too long, and the roots had become “girdled”.

He reported the trees had also been planted at an incorrect depth by contractors “not engaged by council”.

Replacements should be a species suited to soil conditions and their root quality should be checked before they are purchased and planted.

The expert also recommended the new plantings be mulched and that “best arboriculture practice” is done when planting happened.

There must be adequate water supplied to the new trees in summer.

The plane trees that had failed to flourish were eventually uprooted in March and taken to the Akura Road Nursery where they were heeled in anticipation they may recover and be able to be replanted in the square.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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