Rosalind Cameron found it 'very intimidating' to arrive home and find trucks and a chipper parked in her driveway and people armed with chainsaws.

"I was told I was meant to be overseas," says the Waipahihi Ave resident who along with many others was distraught about the removal of five European beech trees growing on the berm outside her home.

Taupo District Council had taken the trees down without consulting anyone, because they believed they were diseased, sparking outrage from residents in the street who say the75-year-old trees were much loved.

Showing their full autumn splendour, the much-loved avenue of 75-year-old beech trees before they were cut down in August 2018. Photo / Supplied
Showing their full autumn splendour, the much-loved avenue of 75-year-old beech trees before they were cut down in August 2018. Photo / Supplied

Waipahihi resident Chris Aurish says the Council showed that it had gone through the correct procedure and an arborist's report had been completed, however he says they got it badly wrong in making the decision to cut the trees down.

Advertisement

He says that the mayor and the council'sCEO came and apologised to residents, promised some type of restoration for what had happened and said that a consultation process would be implemented.

The Waipahihi Ave residents were keen for some form of replanting programme to replace what the they had lost, however Chris said frustrations grew when residents from nearby streets became involved.

"People in other streets want the trees cut down to preserve their views and are against trees being replanted," says Chris.

Unable to come to any agreement, the matter was referred to Tuesday's Council Fences, Roading, Reserves and Dogs Committee meeting, where residents from both streets made submissions.

Making a presentation on behalf of the Waipahihi St residents, Ash and Oak Arborists consultant Asher Bowyer thought the trees were healthy, considering they had been managed as a hedge rather than as individual specimens. He disputed the Council arborist's opinion that the trees were diseased and says he would have recommended trimming.

He noted that prior to 2015 the trees were managed by the residents of Waipahihi Ave, and that from 2015 the trees had been managed by Council who appeared to take the view that the trees should be viewed as individual specimens.

The committee chaired by councillor Barry Hickling resolved to restore Waipahihi Ave to its original status as a tree-lined avenue, and directed that beech trees and dogwood should be planted to replace what was cut down.