More at-risk Kelvin St trees to be felled

Invercargill City Council is set to proactively remove a third segment of trees along Kelvin St, beginning in June.

Similar work was completed in July 2021 and July 2022 and is guided by the Invercargill City Council Tree Plan 2020, which details Council’s long-term strategy in ensuring the sustainability of trees and the safety of the public throughout the city through responsible management.

Council Manager Parks and Recreation Caroline Rain said Kelvin Street between Fox St and Victoria Ave would be closed to traffic, and traffic management would be in place, during felling on Saturday, 17 June and between 9am and 4pm from Monday 19 June to Friday 23 June.

“Most of the trees being removed are around 90 to 100 years old and include predominantly pinus radiata and some poplars,” Rain said.

It was important for Council to remove these trees now and eliminate the risk that they will fall and damage property or life, she said.

The trees could pose a risk as due to their advanced age they may potentially be rotten. Some trees removed in 2021 were found to be rotten on the inside, she said.

Council would be replanting a replacement line of shelter with pine, macrocarpa and gum, as prescribed in the Invercargill City Council Tree Plan 2020.

“These are trees that grow quickly and will provide the necessary shelter to the park. Behind this shelter line we will again be planting a secondary line of native shrubs and smaller trees along with specimen trees,” Rain said.

Some residents were being asked to vacate their properties for a short time during felling. Residents had been alerted and staff would door knock before felling began each day to ensure people were aware, she said.

These residents will be asked to leave their homes for a period of no longer than two hours to comply with Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations sections 11.4 and 11.4.3 that states residents of homes a specific distance from trees of a certain height should not be present when the felling of those trees takes place, she said.

“Spotters will also be in place who will make sure work is halted in the event a resident needed to leave their homes during felling,” she said.

The week of Monday 26 June had been earmarked as reserve days for work if bad weather occurred or the operation took longer, Rain said.

For more information on the Council’s tree plan please visit here: 2020-ICC-Tree-Plan-29-July.pdf