A rash of illegal pruning in Wanaka is causing headaches for Council and an eyesore for the community, Queenstown Lakes District Council parks manager Gordon Bailey said.
"We are dealing with the fourth incident of the severe pruning of Council trees in Wanaka in the last two months," Mr Bailey said. The pruning being undertaken not only threatened the life of mature trees but turned an aesthetically pleasing environmental feature into a long-term eyesore, he said.
Whoever had been doing the pruning may well have thought they were doing the right thing but they have demonstrated they don't have the knowledge and skills, Mr Bailey said.
"It is actually an offence to prune a Council tree, which is important protection for public trees," Mr Bailey said. In the majority of cases severely pruned trees did not survive.
"In every case we undertake enforcement through Lakes Environmental, which in turn helps to fund replacement planting. It really is much easier to phone Council and request a tree be assessed for pruning," Mr Bailey said.
Council had a programme for maintenance of trees, with pruning of Wanaka trees scheduled to be undertaken this year.
"In the meantime we will continue to take a hard line on illegal pruning. It really is no different to any other form of vandalism of public property," Mr Bailey said.
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