The Queenstown Lakes District Council is seeking comment on a proposed programme of tree removal and replanting on Frankton Track.
The programme, which would take place on the lakeside of the track only, would see the removal of a number of large and oversized evergreen trees and their replacement with native plantings.
QLDC parks manager Gordon Bailey says the project has been in the pipeline for some time.
“We originally anticipated combining this work with the upgrade of the sewage main that runs adjacent to the track but with that on hold for the time being we’ve decided to proceed with the tree programme as a standalone project,” he said
Mainly Douglas fir, Eucalyptus and Pine trees were slated for removal along with some other specimen trees that are dead or near dead and pose a risk to public safety.
Pine and Douglas fir are wilding species that spread very easily, quickly taking over from other trees while the few Eucalyptus that are left are in poor health due to annual frost damage. There was also concern that a number of trees were close enough to the sewer line that they could damage the pipes.
Mr Bailey said the programme had been very carefully planned so the track didn’t lose any of its current atmosphere.
“We’ll be leaving most larch, willow and sycamores in place which will continue to provide seasonal colour and that feeling of walking or biking through a woodland area.”
“The proposed replanting will be sympathetic to the planting already done around the developments in the area and by the residents who live above the Frankton Track and the removal of the high dark canopy will see the self-sown native plants that are already growing under the evergreens absolutely take off.”
The Council is seeking feedback from track users and residents about the programme and more information on what’s proposed, including photos showing what trees are likely to be removed, are available online at www.qldc.govt.nz and at Council offices.
Feedback can be posted to QLDC, Private Bag 50072, Queenstown or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback needs to be received by Friday 18 January, 2013.