They can’t see the art for the trees

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Artists who capture natural beauty on canvas have been pushing to fell these two specimen trees in central Queenstown.

The local art society proposed bowling two large yew trees standing guard at the entrance to its Stanley Street studios.

The yews (left) are past their use-by date, argues society treasurer Jeri Elliot, and limit the studio’s visibility – plus three blossom trees would look better.

Local councillors were not persuaded and this week voted to save the yews, taking their lead from Queenstown Lakes District Council parks boss Gordon Bailey. Far from the trees being a spent force, Bailey maintains, they possibly date back to the 1920s and could “live for hundreds of years”.

“They’re good specimens”, he adds, and “quite significant in the landscape” on the main road into town.

He hopes they’ll still be retained even if QLDC pursues its grandiose Town Hall plans on Stanley St.

More signage would improve the art studio’s visibility, Bailey suggests.