Fate of domain trees hangs in balance

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One of the trees marked for felling at the Clarke Memorial Domain and Mauriceville farmer Alan Stuart, who believes the trees should stay. PHOTO/FILE
One of the trees marked for felling at the Clarke Memorial Domain and Mauriceville farmer Alan Stuart, who believes the trees should stay. PHOTO/FILE

D-Day for trees under threat in Mauriceville's Clarke Memorial Domain will be April 18 when a public meeting is to be held to decide their fate.

Masterton District Council has planned to fell several mature pine trees and two macrocarpas lining the pathway into the domain grounds, claiming the aged trees have come to the end of their life and are dangerous.

This has been contested by some Mauriceville people, particularly farmer Alan Stuart, who holds to the view that the trees are not a danger to anyone and that felling them would render the domain a far more dangerous place than if the trees stayed.

The trees are situated on the top of a near sheer drop and it is the contention of those wanting the trees to stay that felling them would only cause the cliff face to erode and fall away.

Argument over the future of the trees has been going on for months. The council had already let a tender for them to go, prior to Mr Stuart initiating plans to stall the felling and to press for consultation with the Mauriceville community.

As a result, the council plans to this week send out nearly 200 letters outlining its plans to homes throughout the Mauriceville area.

It also sought an updated arborist report to be discussed with the community. The report indicated the cost of maintaining the old trees over a four-year period would be more than having them felled.

It is expected the April 18 meeting will result in a recommendation to either go ahead with the felling proposal or to scrap it.

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