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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

Waterways and the Willow

Waterways and the Willow.

In the King Country there is, I am glad to note, a movement in the direction of restoring the navigable condition of rivers and streams that were useful waterways until they became blocked by the beauteous and too-prolific weeping-willow tree. Many a stream in the Waikato and Waipa country, as in many other parts of New Zealand, has been ruined for boat traffic because of the quickly spreading habit of the willow, with resultant blocking of waterflow and flooding of adjacent land. At Otorohanga, on the Waipa, settlers met recently to discuss the condition of the Manga-o-rongo stream, a tributary of the Waipa, which for more than a dozen miles is banked up because the willows make a thick and tangled impediment to waterflow.

The Manga-o-rongo is only one of many; and much larger rivers are suffering from the ill-judged planting of willows long ago.