Tree removal illuminating | Otago Daily Times Online News


The old oak tree in front of Waitaki Girls’ High School was taken down on Monday and had been totally removed by Tuesday to let more light into the building behind.

The decision to remove the tree was made by the board of trustees and was part of the school’s ongoing upgrade.

Principal Sarah Hay said the tree removal was very much a health and safety issue.

She said while the tree was beautiful, branches had broken windows in the junior block, so its removal was, unfortunately, something that had to happen.

“It was due to be done before Christmas but was delayed.”

Ms Hay said now the tree was down it was amazing to see just how much light it had been blocking.

“The view is delightful.”

Junior block, or “J block”, was out of bounds last year for pupils and staff as it was refurbished.

Ms Hay said staff were looking forward to having a staffroom back and pupils would have some pretty good spaces to utilise for study.

She said without access to the junior block it had been a tough year on staff and pupils alike, but staff would now not have to travel as far to deliver their subjects.

Apogee Tree Services arborist Francis Murray, whose company was contracted to remove the tree, said the oak had some rot damage but it was a sound tree.

It had just grown too large for the school grounds and was no longer suitable in the situation it was planted in.

He said people had been contacted that may have had an interest in the wood for turning or carving purposes, but no-one had shown an interest.

He said over the years the leaves, sap and honeydew from the tree had also damaged the whitestone wall at the front of the school.

Ms Hay said the roots had also damaged the wall.