Two recent storms have destroyed the Tarras forest route taken by elf Arwen and her horse, Asfaloth, as they carried critically injured ringbearer Frodo to the Ford of Bruinen.
Arwen’s horse chase scene with the Black Riders was made famous in filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship.
The unassuming pine plantation on the banks of the Clutha River put the small rural town of Tarras on the map of Tolkein fans who toured New Zealand’s LOTR film locations for years after the award-winning trilogy was released from 2001 to 2003.
During two storms mid-August, the other on the weekend of September 11-12 about 30 trees were blown down during alpine thunder-and-lightning shows worthy of Gandalf’s battles with the Balrog.
Property owner Chris Goddard said once the block has been tidied up he would replant.
It was too soon to say what species he would choose.
“Step one is to remove the trees, all the slash. We are trying to deal with that without setting fire to it,” Mr Goddard said.
He has contracted his neighbour, Dan Stewart, to clean up the mess.
Mr Stewart is a builder who at the beginning of this year invested in a Tarras forestry block, bought a 20-tonne digger and started Luggate Logging.
He and a couple of employees will be pulling felled trees off Mr Goddard’s block for several weeks.
Mr Stewart estimated many of the trees would be “a good 50 years old”.
Some would produce 20-25cum of firewood, others might produce just 7-8cum, he said.
“The trees are widowmakers. They are the ones that fall against another tree and don’t fall to the ground,” Mr Stewart said.
“Some were growing in gravelly ground. Generally a tree wants to keep growing to the sun but if they are in gravelly soil, when they get to a certain height, the wind takes over and they fall down.”
Mr Stewart grew up on a farm in Southland and has long been involved in forestry. He is fitting his forestry work around his building contracts and is also assisting Fulton and Hogan to remove trees near Wanaka Airport.