Ashburton District Council is encouraging property owners with overgrown roadside shelterbelts to trim back or remove problem trees ahead of winter.
Council roading manager Brian Fauth said large shelterbelt trees can shade rural roads, making them icy and dangerous in winter.
Gritting shade-affected roads reduces the ice hazard but is coming at a growing cost to the Ashburton district. About $200,000 was spent on gritting rural roads in 2015.
The Council will soon start contacting property owners that have troublesome trees on busy rural roads. "Once we have identified the sites where trees are shading the road, we will contact the site owners to discuss their responsibilities in trimming them back. We will also be asking for the work to be done within a reasonable timeframe," Mr Fauth said.
By acting early on the issue, the Council is hoping to prevent potential accidents and reduce the need for gritting when winter arrives.