Stay Out of the Woods in High Winds

12 November 2013

Wellington’s fantastic Town Belt and reserves help make the city special, but it’s best to avoid areas with old pines and other large trees in strong winds.

Council worker clearing trees.

A digger was needed to remove storm-damaged trees from the Beacon Hill walking track


For safety reasons, we also urge people to pay attention to signs on walkways - if a sign says a track is closed, please keep out.

The Council’s Arboriculture Team Manager, David Spencer, says any forest can be a dangerous place during storms or high winds so people should use their common sense.

“The city has been battered by unusually fierce spring winds and we’ve had two big storms this year, including a one-in-40-year event in June that caused widespread damage. Track users should be aware that trees and branches do come down in strong winds.”

Since the storm in June, our arborists and contractors have been busy cleaning up - work that is expected to take until early next year to complete. The first priority was to clear trees from the roads and powerlines.

“We’re now steadily removing damaged stands of old pine trees in our parks and reserves. Some of this work is complex, requiring cranes, diggers and helicopters, and has to be done very carefully. We ask people to be patient as we’re working as fast as we can.”

On top of the clean-up, we also have a tree management programme that includes felling potentially hazardous trees and replanting. This has been under way for the past 20 years.

If you come across any newly-fallen trees or are concerned about any trees on Council land, please let us know. We’ll get an arborist out to assess the situation and, if necessary, make it safe.