Council welcomes tree suggestions through Facebook page
FRUIT, maple and kowhai trees and natives that benefit the birds and bees are the preferences so far for trees to be planted in Humphries Street, Greytown
Recommendations are being sought through Facebook on what trees should replace four Phoenix palm trees removed from the street this month.
The South Wairarapa District Council has received the suggestions after asking for feedback through its Facebook page.
Greytown resident Josepha Murray commented: “Please plant natives not exotics, something kind and delicious to the bird and bee population?”
She said there are “enough exotic trees in Greytown” and suggested the council carry on the golden totara theme from nearby Papawai Rd.
Responding by Facebook message to NewsWire, Ms Murray said planting natives would benefit the council because they tend to be evergreen reducing leaf litter that blocks storm water drains.
“A big problem with deciduous oaks and maples along many of our streets,” she said of the blockages.
Martinborough resident Greg Childs also commented on the Facebook post, praising the communication from the council along with a tree suggestion.
“Good communication by SWDC. Well done. Suggestion maples,” he posted.
In a follow-up message, Mr Childs said he liked that the council is consulting and a good idea would be underground power lines, because the trees were growing too close to the lines.
“In and ideal world we would bury the lines but cost as always is a mitigating factor,” he said.
Facilities and parks officer Helen McNaught said the replacement of the Humphries Street trees should be made before winter is over.
“Ideally replacement should be done before the end of winter, which is very close, and we still need to do the community consultation,” she said.
The tree issue was brought to the council’s attention by Powerco asking for the trees to be removed, said Ms McNaught.
She said the council had no preference to what should replace the palm trees after the removal, which cost $4725.
However, the council’s policy on street trees has a list of trees regarded as “suitable and unsuitable”.
Concerns in the list of unsuitable trees are those that have thorns, seeds, spreading habits, fruit, nuts, a risk of disease and extensive foliage.
Ms McNaught said the replacing of the trees had not yet been priced.
“We will carry out a more formal consultation process with the public, but we welcome feedback via Facebook,” she said.
Resource management officer Jen Olson, who runs the page with council co-worker Hazel Turner, said the Facebook page is a useful tool.
“It’s a great communication tool and a familiar platform for discussion for the residents,” she said.
Ms Olson consults with related councillors if a post relates to specific departments, allowing likers to actually get to know people working at the council.
The participation of the page has grown since being created in June last year.
“It’s been really good. I got excited when we got to 100 likes and now there is just over 350 so there is way more participation,” Ms Olson said.
“It’s normally just day to day things like when the water is out, or in this case these trees are getting cut down; what do we do,” she said.