Informed . . . Gore resident Joy Mockford and Environment Southland work supervisor Clint Cartwright watch a video about the different ways the integrity of stop banks can be compromised. The regional council hosted two drop in session at the Gore District Council to discuss the removal of trees in the township. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

It should take two days to remove 75 high-risk trees along the true right stopbank in the Gore township beside River and Richmond Sts.

Environment Southland staff identified that the trees compromise the integrity of the stopbanks to keep water out of the town if the river floods.

The tree felling is planned to take place at a weekend next month.

Environment Southland works supervisor Jimmy Turnbull said trees planted very close or on the stopbank would be felled and the stumps and roots would be removed at a later date.

‘‘We don’t want to damage the bank at this stage.’’

When the tree roots were taken out, the stopbank would need to be built up again.

That work needed to be done when the soil conditions were as dry as possible.

‘‘Wet ground doesn’t compact.’’

Once cut down, the trees would be placed in the flood plain near the river.

The logs which were suitable for firewood would be cut up by Lions Club members and the rest would be chipped.

Catchment operations team leader Dave Connor said while 75 trees were being removed there were others nearby that would stay.

Trees that shaded the stopbank and stopped grass growing would also be taken out.

The 24 trees in Richmond St due to be felled would have their roots removed as they were not close enough to the flood bank to disrupt it.

‘‘The key point there is they are off the bank but they are shading the bank.’’

Ideally, the stopbank should have a 50ml grass cover but the trees were preventing grass from growing there, Mr Connor said.

‘‘We want uniform grass cover — that’s what we are told is the best thing for a stopbank.’’

Contracts had not been awarded to complete the work yet.

The regional council held two drop-in sessions for residents to find out more about why the trees were being removed.

Gore resident Joy Mockford attended one of the sessions.

She was glad of the invitation to find out more about the tree removal and believed when people were invited to learn more they should take advantage of the opportunity.

The session was informative.

‘‘I don’t think I ever realised seepage occurred in the flood banks either.’’

She had no problem with the trees being removed if they were weakening the stopbank.

‘‘I’m quite sure they are not going to take them out for no apparent reason.’’