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The gum tree is not going anywhere

The much-loved tallest tree in Havelock North, believed to be more than 100 years old, is about to get some extra help to stay in the peak of health.

Hastings District Council has been fielding calls recently from people concerned that the Tasmanian Blue Gum Tree in the St Columba’s carpark might come down as part of the revamp of the Havelock North Domain (now the Village Green).

Nothing could be further from the truth, says council’s parks manager Colin Hosford.

“We are very aware of the importance placed on this tree by residents and we are committed to keeping it in the best possible condition.”

Council has the tree checked every year by an arborist, in part because of its age and also because gums are known for shedding branches in very dry conditions. The shedding is the tree’s way of retaining moisture in order to ensure its survival.

The most recent assessment was carried out earlier this month.  “The tree is in very good health for its age which we estimate to be over 100 years”.

There are no signs of any form of canopy decline or disease.  

To help keep it that way, a new wrought iron fence is being built to go around the tree at its “drip line” at the outer edge of the exposed roots. It will keep vehicles off and, at about 600mm high, will indicate to people that they should keep off the area. Inside the fence a thick bed of mulch will be spread over the roots.

Staff say the wrought iron surround should be in place by November and the mulch will be laid not long after.

4 October 2017

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