Questions and Answers

​A guide to Council trees

Tree planting in parks and streets has become an integral part of the urban landscape throughout the world. Trees make an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of residents and to the quality of the landscape, by releasing oxygen and absorbing pollutants such as carbon dioxide, by collecting dust, providing shelter from the sun, wind and rain, increasing land stability, providing habitats for wildlife and increasing property values.

With proper care and management trees can live for a long time, and provide ongoing health benefits for future generations.​

Who manages our street and park trees?

Street and park trees are managed by the Council's Parks and Opens Spaces Unit. The Council's aim is to provide a safe, visually pleasant amenity throughout the city.​

How are they maintained?

Council employs trained arborists to ensure the trees are maintained for good health, form and safety.

A tree monitoring and inspection programme is in place for street trees and those trees requiring regular checks.

Pruning methods used align with current international arboricultural standards.

Can I prune or remove a street or park tree?

No – that's our responsibility and we have experienced specialist staff to do the job. Inappropriate pruning can damage tree health and appearance and cause public safety risks, so no one is permitted to prune or remove any street or park tree without the Council's prior consent. Penalties can be imposed for pruning or removing a Council tree without permission.​

How do I get a street or park tree pruned?

A number of factors are taken into account before a tree is pruned. If a tree is causing a visibility hazard to road users or pedestrians, a public nuisance or a safety issue it will be considered for pruning. The effect of pruning on the tree's health and amenity value will also be considered.

If you would like a tree pruned, please contact the Council on 838 6699 to arrange for one of our staff to do an inspection.​

What about tree removal?

Council trees can only be considered for removal if the tree is a potential danger to life or property and showing signs of structural defects.

On its own, leaf and debris fall onto private property is not considered  as a reason to remove a tree.

Our staff will carry out an assessment on request.​

Tree Planting

The Council undertakes planting of street trees with the aim of enhancing street appearance and amenity values.

  • Replacing existing trees requiring removal
  • Parks and reserves areas
  • Streets where residents request trees
  • Newly developed areas​

Residents may request a tree be planted by contacting Council on 838 6699. ​

All requests will be considered, with the decision depending on the location. (eg size of the site, the presence of above ground and below ground services).

Tree Debris

The Council does not remove tree debris (e.g. leaves, seeds and twigs) from private property, as leaf fall is part of living in a community with trees. Council may consider pruning a Council tree away from an adjacent property to reduce the leaf fall.

Protected Trees

Council provides an advisory service to all owners of trees that are worthy or potentially worthy of protection within the Council's Operative District Plan.

Private Trees

Unless they are protected trees, the Council does not get involved in matters relating to trees on private property.

Your lawyer is the best person to advise you about your legal rights regarding trees on private property.


Page reviewed: 13 Jul 2017 3:53pm