Council concedes defeat on trees

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It’s game, set and match to Queenstown Tennis Club after a year-long battle to remove beech trees planted next to their courts in the Gardens. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council has done an about-face on refusing to remove 125 trees it planted over a year ago – it’ll now dig them up and plant them elsewhere following a string of club complaints. 

Club president Teresa Chapman says members feared tree roots could badly damage their $150,000, two-year-old playing surface. 

They were also worried about “leaf litter”, bark and residue, plus the surface becoming slippery due to shading in winter. 

Complaints lobbed to QLDC were ignored till last week when club president Teresa Chapman gave parks bosses a real serve. 

QLDC community services boss Paul Wilson: “We didn’t believe [the trees] were necessarily going to create a problem because it would be a clipped hedge, it’s quite a different thing to a tree in open ground … because the roots are constrained. But we weren’t able to convince them of that and at the end of the day we thought it wasn’t worth the worry so we’ll pull them out.” 

The trees, which cost about $6 each, will be re-planted around the Gardens in late autumn. The area will be re-grassed. 

Chapman says she’s “truly delighted” with what she considers to be the “most logical” outcome.
The club’s now offering to donate public seating in the trees’ place for onlookers to watch matches.