Pohutukawa tree trimming carried out by wrong Waikato District Council staff

The pohutakawa on the corner of Bow St and Norrie Ave caused concern recently with locals unsure of who had hacked at low-hanging branches leaving the debris at the base of the tree.

Many took to Facebook to express their disgust at the lack of care taken by the anonymous tree-cutter.

At first, it was thought the tree trimming was the work of a vandal and when the Raglan Chronicle made enquiries Waikato District Council was unaware of any maintenance scheduled for the tree.

A council spokesperson says in normal circumstances, any tree maintenance is carried out on the direction of council’s community connections team and therefore, it was initially presumed that this work was not done by council.

Staff investigated and viewed CCTV footage which showed the work was carried out by council’s roading team Waikato District Alliance.

The roading crew were incorrectly given a service request on Friday afternoon after a member of the public made an urgent request to have the tree looked at after they hit their head on a low-hanging branch.

While staff crew were on site a decision was made to trim the branch to remove the hazard.

It is council policy that this sort of work is always carried out by a trained arborist however this was not the case in this instance.

A WDC spokesperson says council realises the tree is much-loved by the community and they sincerely apologise for not following due process.

An arborist has since visited the tree and tidied up the site.

Remedial work has been completed and council will continue to assess the tree in the coming months.

Janine Jackson