Waimakariri District Council advised they began removing dead and dying Whitebeam trees within Pegasus Township, the week commencing 11th May. Details below:
Many Whitebeams in the township have been found to be infected with Fireblight and have either died or will go into decline in the coming Spring. Fireblight is a bacterial infection that affects certain tree species and once infected there is no known cure or treatment. While some trees, particularly the larger ones can survive for a few years after being infected the eventual outcome is death of the tree. Smaller trees succumb much more easily, and this has led to a large number of smaller Whitebeams going into decline over summer and dying.
The trees will be replaced with Hornbeams which are of a different species even though the names are similar. There are a number of Hornbeams planted in Pegasus already and they have proved to be able to tolerate the difficult conditions well and shown to be more than capable of thriving there.
Contractors will initially remove those trees that are either dead or have declined to the extent that it is obvious they will not come into leaf in Spring. Once these trees are removed, we will be able to determine exactly how many will require removal in the next year or two. Removals are being staged so there are not a large number of empty tree spaces at once within the town. Once the removals for this year are completed Contractors will begin planting the new trees with work expected to be completed by the end of June.