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An iconic tree alongside Pukekura Raceway is in danger of falling apart – so the Council is taking action.
The 141-year-old South African coral tree on the corner of Ridge Lane and Rogan Street has developed a large crack in the main stem, and the tree is moving more than it should in the wind.
On Monday (30 July) some branches will be removed to lessen the weight on one side and reduce the risk of the tree breaking apart. Bracing will be installed later that week to help keep the tree intact.
“We’ve had two independent arborists examine it and they’ve confirmed our view that it’s likely to split out if we don’t intervene,” says District Arborist Conrad Pattison.
“There is such a long history to this tree that we have to do everything we can to keep it going, while also protecting the public and nearby homes.”
The notable tree is believed to have been planted by Robert Snell in 1871. This species is rare in New Zealand and New Plymouth’s is the largest recorded in the country.
The Council has monitored the tree closely for many years as it displayed signs of poor health and decay.
“The tree has done well to survive so long. Hopefully we can keep it growing for a long while yet,” says Mr Pattison.
The Council will also take cuttings from the tree with the aim of planting its saplings in the district.