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Quick thinking saves Sir Ed’s oak

Arborists move an evergreen Himalayan oak to a new position in front of Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre. PHOTO/MARCUS ANSELM

MARCUS ANSELM
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Quick thinking by a Martinborough tree-lover has saved a rare Himalayan tree brought to the area by Sir Edmund Hillary.

Resident Kim Walton noticed last week that the tree was in the way of a proposed flying fox for the children’s playground at the town’s Waihinga Centre.

Walton, a self-confessed ‘passionate greenie’, recognised the tree as an evergreen Himalayan Oak.

It was one of several brought to the area as part of the Mount Everest conqueror’s efforts to promote his reforestation programme in Nepal.

Acting quickly, Walton was able to raise funds from residents, council and businesses, and got South Wairarapa District Council approval to ensure the tree was saved.

Arborists on Monday used cranes to gently shift the two-decade-old tree into a new position 12 metres west of its old position.

“We had to act really fast,” Walton said. “The council and the Martinborough Community Board really came to the party. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Walton, who runs RED Horticultural, said she felt it was her job to save one tree at a time – the next target is a totara, also outside the centre.

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