HISTORICAL ivi (Tahitian chestnut) trees in central Suva will not be cut down but maintained as heritage trees for the capital city.
The decision to leave the historical trees untouched was made following the Suva City Council's meeting and inspection by tree expert, Prof Randy Thaman of the University of the South Pacific on Thursday.
Suva's special administrator Chandu Umaria said a number of inspections in central Suva and along Queen Elizabeth Drive were carried out.
"During the inspection the trees were assessed in terms of whether they constituted safety threats and its protection," he said.
Mr Umaria said following inspection it was noted that the two historical ivi trees in central Suva were still strong and did not constitute a threat to the public and should be maintained as heritage trees.
"A number of baka ni idia (Indian banyan trees) along Queen Elizabeth Drive, near the Bowling Club and near the children's playground opposite Thurston Gardens, should be removed because they were imbalanced, possibly due to unequal pruning over the road, and probably constituted a hazard similar to the tree that fell on cars the week before last," he said.
He said a systematic attempt would be made to protect, maintain and restore heritage trees and to improve tree planting within Suva.
"Plans will be made to plant appropriate, mainly native, coastal trees along the newly developed coastal path and parkland along Queen Elizabeth Drive north of Veiuto and in other selected areas where tree planting would improve life in the city."
Mr Umaria also outlined that in the next six months, the trees in Thurston Gardens would be restored, mapped, name plates provided, new trees planted and a short guide with a map of the locations and descriptions and background information will be available on each tree.
"Within the next year a register of "Heritage Trees of Suva" and a heritage trees guide will be developed for use by the public, schoolchildren, tourist and other interested individuals," he said.