Top of the chops


Queenstown Lakes District Council’s decision to start lopping down decaying poplar trees on Lower Shotover Road is music to the ears of nearby resident Peter Doyle.

QLDC is calling for tenders to chop the trees after a new arborist’s report found 64 of 67 of them lining the road are “unsafe and require removal”.

Farmer Russell Liggett, 57, was killed by a 20m-high, 100-year-old poplar which fell in high winds on to his ute on September 14.

A second large tree blew down (right) on Lower Shotover Rd on November 27.

Doyle, who lives close by, drove past about 10 minutes before the latter tree toppled.

“When I went past, because it was blowing a gale, I said to my son, ‘God, it looks like we’re going to lose another one soon’ – and bugger me, we come back [about 25 minutes later] and there it is,” he says.