Web Banner Tairawhiti

Kelvin Park copper beech tree in good condition

20 Feb 2015

Kelvin Park copper beech tree in good condition

A health and safety assessment of the heritage Copper Beech tree in Kelvin Park was carried out after concerns about an area of decay at the base of the tree.

Arboriculture consultants from Treescape Environmental inspected the tree earlier this month saying that the strength of the trunk, healthy leaf canopy and bark condition meant the tree was in “fair health and good overall condition.” 

“The report identifies that the outlook for the future of the tree is a bright one,” says acting planning and development group manager, Geoff Canham.

“There's visible fungal decay and cavities at the base of the trunk which caught the attention of people last year”.

These cavities are a natural defence by the tree. The tree has ‘compartmentalised’ a disease attack with a barrier of dead wood. The cavities appear to be surrounded by healthy wood tissue where the tree has naturally protected itself from pathogens.

“The specialist report also indicated a low hazard risk for branch failure.  In keeping with its age and position, Council will continue to monitor the tree’s well-being and maintenance needs,” says Mr Canham.

The Copper Beech, also known as Fagus sylvatica or European Beech, is estimated to be 70-80-years old was planted by the original owner Winifred Lysnar.

Ms Lysnar gifted Kelvin Park and the land where the Tairāwhiti Museum and Lysnar House sit, in the 1950s.

Council will be developing a new public tree strategy and policy to fully cover the role and management of public trees in both urban and non-urban environments, inclusive of guidelines and procedures.

Heritage trees such as the Kelvin Park Copper Beech will also be included in the policy, as will the role of trees in reducing crime and increasing community benefits.