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Terrific time to tackle overgrown shelter belts, trees and hedges

Wednesday, May 15, 2024   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: parks, winter, gardening

Selwyn District Council media release: 15th May 2024

Could your shelter belts, trees or hedges be obscuring drivers’ line of sight, or hindering pedestrians walking along the footpath? Now is a good time to give them a trim.

We're encouraging residents to maintain their vegetation ahead of winter to ensure neighbourhoods and rural roads remain safe for everyone.

Head of Operational Delivery Gareth Morgan says all residents with shelter belts, trees and hedges on their property should check where their trees are hanging, and ensure they are not imposing on roads and footpaths.

“It’s about keeping things clear and unobstructed so that everyone – including those with mobility issues, can access the footpath, and drivers can see the road and road signs.”

“It’s also important that trees are not blocking streetlights or hanging over the road where they can obstruct larger vehicles from passing by.”

The Selwyn District Trees and Vegetation Management Policy Manual states that trees and hedges on private properties that hang over footpaths or berms need to have a height clearance of at least two metres so that people can easily pass underneath them. Trees overhanging roads must be at least 4.25 metres above the roadway.

Residents should consider bushes and low-lying trees that could be encroaching on footpaths. There needs to be a 60cm gap between the tree and footpath.

Meanwhile, high shelter belts and hedges situated on the north side of the road also pose the risk of shading roads in winter. Colder, shorter days make it harder for sunlight to reach the road and melt ice or frost that might have built up. Keeping these shelter belts and hedges maintained allows the roads the best chance of thawing out on cold days.

The Council maintains trees in parks, reserves and cemeteries. If you spot a tree in a public place that you think is infringing on road or pedestrian safety, report it to us through Snap, Send, Solve or call 0800 SELWYN (735 996).