Christchurch could soon loose its 4800 publically owned silver birch trees, if residents are able to provide evidence that their presence is making them ill. Scientists have linked silver birch trees with nausea, wheezing, vomiting, hay fever and lip swelling.
However the council is reluctant to move them, due to the average cost of removing and replacing a medium-to-large tree being $1245. The council has estimated that to replace all silver birch trees in Christchurch it would cost around $6 million dollars.
However a growing crusade from residents to get the trees removed is placing immense pressure on the council. If the council looks to introduce a policy to get the trees removes and replaced, then applicants will have to provide evidence from their doctor showing that a removal of the trees is the only solution to improving their condition. Christchurch resident Hamish Riach supports the proposal after he knows firsthand the strain involved with removing the trees, after battling for four years to get two silver birch trees removed after making three members of his family sick.