Pāpāmoa residents who say mature trees in their cul-de-sac are clogging guttering, lifting lawns and creating an environment that attracts "undesirables" have had a partial win.
A bid to fell nine Queens Land box trees, and one Southern Magnolia in Lavender Place was met with a compromise by Tauranga City Council this week.
Resident Alan Crofskey brought a petition to the council earlier this month calling for the 24-year-old trees to be cut down and replaced.
In that October 6 meeting, he said the trees were planted in 1996, a year before he moved to the street, and some were now 15 metres high.
"They have got to a stage where they are absolutely ridiculous."
He said the trees were "wrecking" properties.
The leaves, "take forever to break down", clog guttering and soakholes, pile high on lawns - reaching knee-height at times - and make a mess of gardens.
Roots lifted lawns and were threatening footpaths, he said.
"A lot of people are in their 80s in our street, they can't cope with stuff like this.
"And the problem is worsening as the trees get larger."
He said the trees blocked the street lighting, attracting "undesirables" who "roam the area at night time with the lack of lights".
He said he once found a used tampon in his garden.
"It's a sad situation where the removal of trees that can be replaced is overriding the wellbeing of residents who can't be replaced."
Councillor Steve Morris said he understood the residents' complaints and that similar trees on nearby Marshwood Place were removed despite being smaller and younger.
The council said those trees were causing actual infrastructure damage, while the Lavender Place trees were not, so did not meet the criteria for removal.
At a Projects, Services and Operations Committee meeting this week, parks and environment team leader Warren Aitken presented the findings of a residents' survey which revealed of 21 respondents, 13 preferred keeping the trees.
Committee chairman Kelvin Clout said he visited Lavender Place the other day and of the 10 trees, only two were particularly tall.
Clout questioned Aitken about the option of felling the two tall trees instead as a potential compromise to residents but Aitken replied the other eight trees were the same species and would eventually grow to the same height.
Councillor Heidi Hughes said she believed the trees had a place as an amenity to the wider community and were a natural asset that should be kept.
"Until they grow to a certain level we should protect the trees that we have as a taonga for our community."
Councillor Larry Baldock said he usually supported the removal of trees if they had become a concern to residents. However, he did not support this petition and noted Pāpāmoa was an area where it could take longer to grow trees due to the soil type.
Only councillors Dawn Kiddie and Morris voted in support of the petition request.
However, an amendment provided by Clout to fell the tallest trees, outside 15 and 27 Lavender Place, at a cost to the council was passed with councillors Kiddie, Morris, Clout and mayor Tenby Powell's support.
Councillors Hughes, Bill Grainger and Tina Salisbury voted against and councillor John Robson abstained.
Told of the decision, petitioner Crofskey said one of those trees was "the worst one" and its removal would be good for the four impacted houses.
Residents had no option but to go along with the council's decision not to remove the rest, he said.