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Marlborough District, Sandhills/ Spring Creek eucalyptus tree removal

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A landmark eucalyptus tree on Marlborough’s State Highway 1, near Spring Creek, will be removed in November, for safety reasons, after it was found to be deteriorating at a fast rate.

SH1 Spring Creek

Eucalypts can endanger the lives of road users if they fall onto the highway or a footpath.

Preparation for the tree felling will start on Tuesday, 13 November, requiring a substantial detour in both directions around the streets of Blenheim on Wednesday, 14 November.

“This is a protected heritage tree, planted around 1880 as a guide for surveyors placing marker pegs around the Marlborough District,” says Frank Porter, System Manager Top of the South for the NZ Transport Agency.

“In recent times it has shown a significant decline in health and has deteriorated at a rapid rate. It is a Mana gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), more than 38 metres high with the trunk being wider than one metre in girth. The demise and loss of such an iconic landmark of Marlborough’s history is regrettable, but the safety of road users is a priority.”

Steve Austin, Executive Director of the Marlborough Heritage Trust, says he is a great lover of old trees: “But we have to accept that there are serious dangers as these particular trees become a hazard.” He is hopeful the site may be possibly marked by an information plaque in the future.

  • The felling of the tree will take place on Wednesday, 14 November, with a full road closure. Drivers should take care around the site on 13 November when the site will be prepared.
  • There will be no access to the site, and all traffic will be detoured (see map below).
  • There will be a clearly marked detour for light vehicles, and a separate marked detour for heavy vehicles and freight travelling under permits (see map).

Detour – southbound, 14 November:
Southbound vehicles travelling SH1 will detour at Spring Creek onto SH62, then travel along SH62 to Jacksons Road, along Jacksons Road to SH6, along SH6 to SH1.

Detour – northbound, 14 November:
Turn onto SH6 at the roundabout and travel along SH6 to Jacksons Road, travel along Jacksons Road to SH62, then along SH62 to Spring Creek to meet SH1.

SH1 Spring Creek detour map

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