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Palm trees on Brougham Street and Orowaiti Road require removal

12 Jan 2024

Buller Electricity Limited has advised Buller District Council that the large Phoenix palm trees at the northern end of Brougham Street (SH67) and the adjacent part of Orowaiti Road are growing into the power line safe zones, posing a hazard to the supply of electricity.

Phoenix palms (Phoenix canariensis) have historically been a popular landscaping species, thriving in cooler climates, but are now considered noxious weeds in several areas of New Zealand.

Previous trimming to maintain the palms at a safe height has resulted in badly-shaped trees growing upwards into the power lines. Removal of these trees is now required and planned for the week of 15 January 2024.

The trees will be taken down by Buller Electricity staff, who will take all practical steps to ensure safe removal and minimal disruption to residents.

Access to properties may be limited for short periods of time and will be communicated to property owners ahead of time.

There will be some noise from the use of machinery, chainsaws and a small digger. Temporary traffic management will be in place, provided by WestReef Services Ltd.

The palms will be cut down to just below ground level, leaving a shallow hole. All plant material will be removed from the site.  

A chemical treatment will be applied to the stumps, and the holes will be temporarily covered with a certified plate. After one week the plate will be removed and the area will be reinstated with soil and grass seed.  

The new growth produced by Phoenix palms is covered in small, sharp spines, which release calcium oxalate crystals into the body when they pierce the skin, causing severe pain, swelling and inflammation.  

As well as the above hazards for gardeners and children, fallen palm fronds make mowing the area underneath difficult for maintenance crews.


For further information please contact:
Manager Infrastructure Delivery
Eric de Boer