Dangerous Kerikeri trees to be removed

Published on 16 October 2020

Melia tree outside Kerikeri fire station Oct 2020.jpg

Two exotic trees in Kerikeri’s central business district that are damaging buildings, buried pipes and creating trip hazards for pedestrians will be removed this weekend.

The Melia trees are growing outside the Kerikeri Fire Station on Cobham Road and a real estate business on the corner of Homestead and Kerikeri Roads.

Melia azedarach, also known as the Chinaberry tree, is a deciduous member of the mahogany family and is native to South and Southeast Asia, and Northern Australia. It can grow up to 35 metres in height.

The roots of the Melia tree growing outside the fire station have caused extensive damage to plumbing costing the service thousands in repairs. An arborist’s report commissioned by the Council in September found that the tree is in poor health making it unsafe. The arborist recommended that the tree be removed.

Roots of the Melia tree growing on Homestead Road have lifted the pavement causing several pedestrians to trip. Safety barriers are now in place to prevent any further falls. Compounding the problem is the fact the tree was planted directly under the building awning requiring it to be heavily pruned to avoid damaging the structure. This has forced the tree to grow at a lean across the road.

According to the Council’s Tree and Vegetation Guideline, a tree growing along roadsides can be removed where an arborist has assessed it is dangerous, or where it is interfering with the integrity of the roadway or footpath. Both trees meet this threshold for removal.

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board members representing the Kerikeri Ward have been informed of the Council’s intention to remove the trees. Contractors will undertake the work on Saturday 17 October. 

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