The debate over the Pillans Jacaranda

The tree of the south side of the house. Photo: Google Maps

The Websters bought the property at 144 Pillans Road last year, moved in - and now they want the city council to cut down the Jacaranda tree directly outside the house.

But the mature jacaranda directly on the south side of David and Helen Webster's home is a remnant from the original farmhouse/orchard plantings on the street, and pre-dates the area's urban development.

The historical connection was raised at the city council Environment Committee last week by lawyer Nick Ellsmore, acting for the decendants of the planters of the jacaranda trees in Pillans Point.

The Websters first had the council prune the tree, after saying they were disappointed at the significant volume of rubbish dropped from the tree across the front of their home and driveway.

They weren't satisfied with the pruning and offered to fell the tree at their cost and replace it with a kauri.

Council staff refused the offer because the jacaranda isn't disrupting services or the health of residents. It doesn't meet the criteria.

Neighbours were polled next. A council survey had six neighbours opposed to removing the tree and 18 who had no objection. The Websters' petition has a dozen neighbours who say they have no objection to the jacaranda getting the chop.

The issue came before the city council Environment Committee this week, for councillors to make a decision, but it became clear the Websters had not seen the committee agenda which laid out all the options available. Committee chair Steve Morris moved the issue be set aside until the Websters have had time to consider and consult.

Lawyer Nick Elsmor,e on behalf of Kathryn and Fraser Lellman, argued for the retention of the tree, saying the historical context is an important part of the committee's deliberations.

“It's Important in a growing town like Tauranga that we retain our historical connections,” says Nick.

He argued against replacing the jacaranda with another tree saying a new tree won't replace a 70 year old tree.


People in glass houses

Posted on 03-07-2017 11:12 | By Thereyougo

Perhaps Council should look into there non-compliant shed sitting on Council land.


Posted on 25-06-2017 14:56 | By Mackka

So often we read of cases similar to this but we are rarely informed regarding the outcome.. Please follow this up Sunlive and let us know the result - Thank in advance.


Posted on 09-06-2017 20:06 | By old trucker

AGREES WITH By MISS ADVENTURE, thats AWESOME well done exactly right, read mine, you are awesome well done,No1 is Sunlive in the Bay,Thankyou,10-4 out.

@ Ben Dover

Posted on 07-06-2017 10:47 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Correct the article says that. However what is called "progress" means change, not all is permanent.

Get some exercise

Posted on 07-06-2017 10:21 | By aratonga

Instead of trying to have a beautiful and mature tree removed why don't they expend some energy and just clean up the so-called mess every so often, That way they will do themselves some good and preserve a community asset!

Live with it!

Posted on 06-06-2017 21:31 | By Ben Dover

They must have purchased the house with the knowledge that the tree had been there long before they were even born! Why didn't they look elsewhere if it was going to annoy them so much?

Leave the tree be

Posted on 06-06-2017 20:18 | By comfortablynumb

Nice caravan tucked away in the drive there. If they want uninterrupted views use that and go to Papamoa Beach campsite and leave that beautiful tree alone. You bought the property with the tree outside so live with it.


Posted on 06-06-2017 18:39 | By overit

I love them and believe the birds need a home too. I have foreign neighbours who appear to dislike trees but so far we seem to be able to work together. They put a tin shed/house into the back yard which is shaded by other neighbours trees they and are constantly cutting back branches that come over the boundary fence. Perhaps they should have bought elsewhere because these trees aren't going anywhere in a hurry. We need them in Summer.

here we go again

Posted on 06-06-2017 16:52 | By old trucker

TCC will cut down trees at their will all they have to say is it was rotting and unsafe and do it, look what they did when the Motel on Waihi rd was built yrs ago Big trees were cut down to make room ,What about the one where picture theatre is at the MOUNT,that was cut down to make room,if i was the owner get it topped and cut back, those poor people fighting TCC over that HUGE TREE at the MOTEL in Devonport rd it must be horrible, TCC will fight you all the way and they dont care about the STRESS they cause,(GOT A DRILL),Sunlive,Thankyou 10-4.


Posted on 06-06-2017 16:34 | By peecee09

Hey, what about the chook house that was near the tree??? How ridiculous, that is one ugly shaped tree, plus having had one I can vouch that they are filthy trees, forever dropping debris.Just replace it with another more appropriate species. I'm sure the owners in the 1950s won't object.

Save The Tree

Posted on 06-06-2017 15:37 | By Denny G

I agree with other comments here - Leave the tree alone !!! You bought the property knowing the tree was there and you must have known that it could cause you some problems yet you purchased the property.

Trees a crowd?

Posted on 06-06-2017 15:03 | By Border Patrol

Tauranga seems to be filling up with people who have a dislike for trees and no regard for the areas history. There have been a few articles over the past year or two whereby lovely mature trees are deemed "unsafe" or making a mess of someones driveway and so they get chopped down. These people have bought the property knowing the tree was there, but I would hazard a guess that their intention was always going to be to make a fuss with council once they moved in. Tauranga is very quickly losing any "soul" it ever had.

Didn't the neighbour ....

Posted on 06-06-2017 13:11 | By waiknot

Mr Clarkson remove a few trees awhile back. Appears it all the rage up there.

Same old

Posted on 06-06-2017 12:44 | By rastus

Its the same old theme - relatively new arrivals start throwing their weight about after being here for five minutes (so to speak). The tree was there when you inspected the property with a view to purchase - you purchased and now expect to change the landscape because is does no suit you - that decision should have been made before purchase. We see this same arrogance going on all over the country -- Western Springs being a very good example and even our Bay Park race track being another - if you don't like us the way we are then go someplace else - anywhere else will be fine.

Leave it be.

Posted on 06-06-2017 12:42 | By Kancho

Seems the tree was happily growing before you bought the house and no reason to cut it down if its just a bit of cleaning up in the garden. Put gutter guards on and enjoy beautiful blue flowering tree. So autumn is a slight inconvenience, to bad you didn't have to buy the house if the the tree offended you so much. It will take a lifetime to replace

Oh for goodness sake

Posted on 06-06-2017 12:35 | By Tassie

Why on earth did you buy the house knowing the tree was there. You could have Googled it and found out yes it is a bit untidy but it's flowers are lovely. Why does everyone have to destroy a 70 year old tree for nothing!

What a cheek ......

Posted on 06-06-2017 12:29 | By Mackka

...... to move into a property - with the tree there. Then have the temerity to expect the council to cut it down! I hope the council tell the Websters where to go!The tree appears to be on council land and therefore belongs to all of us!SAVE THE TREE - let the Websters go live somewhere else if it upsets them that much!What a cheek - who the hell do they think they are?

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