Fraser Street walnut trees to be pruned

The Fraser Street black walnut trees are going to be thinned next week. Picture: Chris Callinan.

Fraser Street will be closed to traffic next week while city council contractors thin the stand of black walnut trees between 17th and 18th Avenues.

The section of Fraser Street will be closed from January 16-20, with diversions along Grace Road for southbound traffic and Devonport Road for northbound traffic.

Tauranga City Council asset co-ordinator and arborist Phil Lodge says the crowns of the trees are being reduced in size to offset some of the issues for those driving or walking under them.

“We've had large bunches of big black walnuts falling on cars, and we've also got ACC and Age Concern and a few other organisations down there who cater for people who are not that well, so we are trying to mitigate that by reducing the level of debris that is going to be created.

“The stem and everything is going to stay the same, but the whole crown is just going to be reduced, so it will just be made smaller on the top. It will be the whole crown all around that will be re shaped and reduced in size.”

Black walnut is a popular timber for furniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, interior panelling, veneer, turned items, and other small wooden objects and novelties, but the limbs off the trees are not expected to be large in diameter, says Phil.

“They may be as thick as an arm or a leg. I'm not sure how much of it they would be able to use probably be pretty small pieces. But they might be able to turn a few small bowls and things like that maybe.”

The contractors would certainly be amicable to letting people grab some if there was some that they wanted to use. He advises people interested to contract Paul Kenny at Paul Kenny Contracting.

“We really want to try and retain trees especially the larger ones. They add so much character to the city. If we can manage them and reduce that impact - that's what we are aiming for, hoping to retain the trees and offset those issues.”



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