Timber! To half a million bucks

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Queenstown’s council plans to spend nearly $500,000 on trees and hedges in its next financial year.
 
Council parks boss Gordon Bailey says there are more than 8000 street trees and an unknown number of park trees to look after. 

Hedges alone will chew up a surprising $100,000 in 2012-13, Bailey reports to councillors for the community services committee meeting today (Tuesday). 

Dangerous pines on Frankton Road and hazardous willows at Lake Hayes and Speargrass Flat Rd are all due for the chop – at a cost of $31,000. 

That’s an improvement on the $92,000 spent on dropping dangerous trees in this current financial year, Bailey reports. 

“With the significant change in funding focus over the last two years, we have been able to significantly reduce the number of hazardous council-owned trees in parks and urban streets,” he tells the committee. 

The change Bailey refers to came as a result of the tragic death of Arrowtowner Russell Ligget, who died in September 2009 after being struck by a falling poplar on Lower Shotover Rd. 

In mid-2010, Bailey identified 140 unsafe trees on roads, reserves and trails in the Wakatipu.