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Timber: A total of 29 trees along Speargrass Flat Rd are about to be felled following an investigation after this poplar failed in December

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Twenty-nine trees, primarily on council reserve, will be felled from Queenstown’s Speargrass Flat Road from next week.

Council property and infrastructure GM Peter Hansby says it follows a ‘‘district-wide risk-based survey’’ to identify trees that pose a high risk to road users due to issues like decayed and cracked stems.

In December, Mountain Scene reported Queenstowner Sue Knowles was involved in a
near-fatal accident on the road after a poplar failed and hit the roof of her vehicle, near the front windscreen, slid along it and collected a bike and rack from the back of her car.

Last month, council received a recommendation to fell 16 trees from the road.

Hansby says it’s always a difficult decision to remove any tree, ‘‘but when it comes to ensuring the safety of people driving, riding or walking along the road, or living in the area, it’s really a no-brainer’’.

Council’s working with private landowners to address the issues with dangerous trees on their land.

Weather-dependent, the felling will start on Tuesday and take about three weeks.

Speargrass Flat Rd, between Domain Rd and Lower Shotover Junction, will be closed on
weekdays from 8am to 5pm, but resident access will be provided.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz