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Rata trees protected by arty guards

The finishing touches to one of Hastings main entrances to the city centre are being completed – with Rata street trees and stunning tree guards being installed this week.

The trees for Karamu Rd are a type of Rata, closely related to the pohutukawa; chosen because of their ability to withstand frosts as well as the hot, dry Hawkes Bay summer conditions. They will have bright red coloured flowers, blooming from early December. The trees will be kept trimmed to height of between four to seven metres and the size of the tree canopies will be managed to ensure drivers’ sight-lines are not blocked.

The tree guards have been manufactured from corten steel by local company Wine Country Sheetmetals and Engineering. The steel has a unique feature which will see it develop a rusty coloured patina which acts as protective layer that will help the guards last at least 50 years.
The final touches signal the end of a major project which included laying new sewer pipes, a new road surface, and upgraded footpaths with ‘concrete tree pits’ to contain the new trees, said Hastings District Council’s works and services committee chairman Kevin Watkins.

“This was an essential services project in one of our highest traffic areas – made more testing by a wetter than usual winter. We want to thank the travelling public and the businesses along that stretch for their patience.”

He said work by Council, Hastings City Business Association and individual business operators to make the city centre more vibrant was enhanced by having attractive entrances to the centre. “It is about having pride in our city and district; underpinned by effective infrastructure. With this project we have definitely achieved those aims.” 

9 October 2017

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