An 80-year-old macrocarpa hedge near Waikanae Beach has become a sticking point between its owner and the local council.
The hedge on Te Moana Road was planted by Vincent Osborne's grandfather in the 1930s, and has been in his family for four generations.
Mr Osborne said he was first sent a letter by his neighbours in January complaining that the hedge was a traffic hazard.
Kāpiti Coast District Council then contacted the owners directly and formally notified them about its safety concerns regarding the hedge and the need to do something about it.
Mr Osbourne said that warning came out of the blue, and the council wanted the hedge drastically pruned back because there was no pedestrian access down his side of the road.
"It's just a berm, nobody ever walks down there anyway."
He said pruning back the hedge could kill it because cutting past the growing tips on that particular species would mean the branches were unable to regrow.
Mr Osborne believed the hedge, which is on a route leading to Waikanae Beach, was a local icon.
"To have a great big eyesore on the gateway to the Waikanae Beach would be terrible."
The council said it had been proactively working with the owners and asked for the hedge to be trimmed back to mitigate safety issues for road users.
Its group manager of Infrastructure Services, Sean Mallon, said the council appreciated the hedge was a feature, but it was a visibility issue.
"If you could trim it back, at least a metre, a metre and a half, just at a height of two metres, then you could have a corridor there that people could walk under, the tree would remain, the greenery would remain on the top section and absolutely the greenery would remain on the private side of the hedge as well."
Mr Mallon said the council was working with Mr Osborne.
"We do have a responsibility to ensure public safely. We are giving the owners time to sort the matter and don't want to lose the hedge if it can be avoided."