Seeds provoke ire of city retailers

SLIPPERY AND SQUISHY: Grant Brothers shop assistant Olly Griffiths sweeps away some of the palm tree seeds retailers in the CBD have complained are slippery and dangerous. Picture by Paul Rickard

Swathes of hard seeds fallen from palm trees in the CBD are a danger to pedestrians who skid on them, and softened seeds are squished into shop carpets, say several retailers in the main road.

“They make a bloody mess,” says Grant Brothers shop assistant Olly Griffiths.

“I skidded on them yesterday. They get into the shop and if they’ve been squished they stain the carpet.

“Sometimes there are thousands on the footpath. We sweep them under the tree.”

Council staff could remove the seed pods when they prune the leaves, says Renee Grant.

“I’ve seen people step out of their cars, slip on the seeds and fall over. When the seeds rot on the footpath they are slippery too. The birds in the trees eat the seeds and crap on the footpath as well.”

Street cleaners use leaf blowers to clear the footpath of the seeds but blow them into the gutter, said another shop-owner. The seeds accumulate at the end of the kerb-side gutter and end up in the waste-water system.

“Imagine how many seeds go down there every day. They are a pain in the arse. We are constantly sweeping the footpath.”

Not only were the mid-winter swathes of small, hard seeds an issue for one business owner but in summer drifts of small golden flowers or light-weight seeds blew in and stuck to the carpet.

“In summer that’s really messy. The seeds and flowers block up our guttering too.”

Along with clogged up guttering, seeds rotted on the overhead verandah, said one retailer. He had heard about people slipping over when they stepped on a carpet of seeds.

“If the flower stalks could be pruned we wouldn’t have this trouble.”

Gisborne District Council manages the seeds through its pavement cleaning programme, says director for liveable communities, Andrew White.

“Recreational Services Ltd, our maintenance contractor, is preparing a proposal to remove the fruit bunches at the time they do the annual dead frond removal. This will reduce the debris.”

The council have said that before but nothing happened, says David Hall of the Odeon Multiplex.

“From this block the council has been called three times.”

When a plumber removed 186kg of seeds from the multiplex’s gutters Mr Hall forwarded the plumber’s bill of $480 to the council but was told it was not their problem.

The palm seeds are a major issue, says Mr Hall.

“At times they are like ball bearings. People slip on them on the street and go flat on their bums.”

Swathes of hard seeds fallen from palm trees in the CBD are a danger to pedestrians who skid on them, and softened seeds are squished into shop carpets, say several retailers in the main road.

“They make a bloody mess,” says Grant Brothers shop assistant Olly Griffiths.

“I skidded on them yesterday. They get into the shop and if they’ve been squished they stain the carpet.

“Sometimes there are thousands on the footpath. We sweep them under the tree.”

Council staff could remove the seed pods when they prune the leaves, says Renee Grant.

“I’ve seen people step out of their cars, slip on the seeds and fall over. When the seeds rot on the footpath they are slippery too. The birds in the trees eat the seeds and crap on the footpath as well.”

Street cleaners use leaf blowers to clear the footpath of the seeds but blow them into the gutter, said another shop-owner. The seeds accumulate at the end of the kerb-side gutter and end up in the waste-water system.

“Imagine how many seeds go down there every day. They are a pain in the arse. We are constantly sweeping the footpath.”

Not only were the mid-winter swathes of small, hard seeds an issue for one business owner but in summer drifts of small golden flowers or light-weight seeds blew in and stuck to the carpet.

“In summer that’s really messy. The seeds and flowers block up our guttering too.”

Along with clogged up guttering, seeds rotted on the overhead verandah, said one retailer. He had heard about people slipping over when they stepped on a carpet of seeds.

“If the flower stalks could be pruned we wouldn’t have this trouble.”

Gisborne District Council manages the seeds through its pavement cleaning programme, says director for liveable communities, Andrew White.

“Recreational Services Ltd, our maintenance contractor, is preparing a proposal to remove the fruit bunches at the time they do the annual dead frond removal. This will reduce the debris.”

The council have said that before but nothing happened, says David Hall of the Odeon Multiplex.

“From this block the council has been called three times.”

When a plumber removed 186kg of seeds from the multiplex’s gutters Mr Hall forwarded the plumber’s bill of $480 to the council but was told it was not their problem.

The palm seeds are a major issue, says Mr Hall.

“At times they are like ball bearings. People slip on them on the street and go flat on their bums.”

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