Trees still protected in Auckland

Auckland City Council’s restrictions on the removal of trees still apply until 1 January 2012 despite the passing of the Resource Management (Simplifying & Streamlining) Amendment Bill last night. sophora_microphylla_15

However, from 1 October this year, there will be changes to the pruning rules which will enable trimming of non-scheduled trees on private land. Previously consent was required before trimming trees that were covered by the general tree protection.

Chairperson of the City Development Committee Aaron Bhatnagar says that the council is working with a range of stakeholders to provide information for the public that defines “trimming”.

“We will be providing information to people about the new rules and also promoting good, safe arbocultural practices regarding trimming. We want to ensure any trimming is carried out safely and we encourage people to use a trained arborist if they are unsure about any works,” says Councillor Bhatnagar.

The council will be updating its website with information on how the new legislation affects the current tree protection bylaws.

This information will be found at

Media backgrounder

For more information visit .

Scheduled trees

These trees are protected for their significant historical, cultural, botanical or amenity value and are identified on the planning maps. These trees receive the highest level of protection, details of which can be found in Part 5C of the District Plan.

General tree protection

The District Plan protects trees over a certain size throughout the Auckland isthmus in all zones. This protection is distinct from the schedule of notable trees and applies to all trees which meet the size criteria. Such trees are not scheduled.

” \l “top#topTwo categories of trees are protected by the general tree protection control:

In most residential areas (residential zones 1, 3a, 5, 6 and


•     exotic trees, (those which are not native to NZ) including

the roots, over 8m in height or with a girth of greater than 800mm (measured 1.4m above the ground)

•     New Zealand native (indigenous) trees including the roots,

over 6m in height or with a girth of greater than 600mm (measured 1.4m above the ground).

In all other areas

Indigenous and exotic trees, including the roots, over 6m in height or with a girth of greater than 600 mm (measured 1.4m above the ground).

Note:in the case of a tree with multiple trunks (such as Pohutukawa) the girth measurement shall be the aggregate or collective measurement of all trunks which have a circumference of 250mm or more

Coastal protection yard

Certain trees within the coastal protection yard are protected to help maintain the appearance and special character of the coastline. Part 5B.7.2 of the District Plan details this yard and the controls.


Trees on some clifflines are protected to maintain visual amenity, reduce erosion, and protect the special harbour edge character of these areas. Part 5B.7.2B of the District Plan details these clifflines and the controls.

” \l “top#topTrees in some open space zones are protected to maintain appearance, protect habitats and preserve the landscape.

See parts 5C and 9 of the District Plan.

Helpful pruning tips

1.    Locate the branch bark ridge

2.    Find A – outside of branch bark ridge

3.     Find B – swelling where branch meets branch collar

4.     Make final cut at line AB to prune dead branch.]

Always use clean, sharp tools. Use secateurs for small branches.

Never use hedge shears to prune a tree.

Avoid cuts that remove the branch collar, which is the fold of wood where the branch joins the trunk.

Never cut across the top of trees (topping) as it will weaken the tree and cause regrowth, which breaks easily and can be a safety hazard.

Only remove larger branches if it is unavoidable.

Prune when a tree is young – younger trees recover better from pruning than mature trees.

4 comments on “Trees still protected in Auckland

  1. I am correct that up to 30% of a Pohutukawa can be trimmed in 1 year?

  2. It depends on the individual plant. they can handle hard pruning but best done by en expert over time.

  3. philip on said:

    Hi, Philip again regarding the pohotokawa undermining , foundtions and retaining wall in birkenhead north shore , can it be removed altogether?

  4. Hi Phillip, Again you need to talk to council direct about the specific tree. Each council has their own rules. I would have thought that if it is pushing over a retaining wall and is not a tree of significance you should be ok, but check with council. Check before you chop hope that helps

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