DCC: Significant Trees

Dunedin City Council
Media Release
Only a few have spoken for the trees

This item was published on 21 Feb 2013.

With less than a week to go before nominations close on 1 March, the DCC has received 33 nominations for significant trees to be included in the second generation District Plan.

Twelve of these have been made since the nomination period opened in December, and the remainder have been made since the last review of the Significant Tree Schedule (April 2008).

The nominations cover a range of tree species including totara, magnolia, pine, a variety of beeches, rhododendron, oak, elm, macrocarpa, chestnut, eastern dogwood, and walnut. Approximately half of the nominations are for native trees. In several instances, a mix of native and exotic species on a property has been nominated.

City Development Manager Dr Anna Johnson says, “People value well-established trees in their gardens that contribute visually, attract birds and sometimes have local historical significance, having been planted as part of an original estate.

“A totara tree nominated on Portobello Road is believed to have been where boats were tied up to transfer passengers and supplies as they travelled from Port Chalmers to Dunedin.”

Having a tree listed on the Significant Tree Schedule does not mean that the tree cannot be touched, rather that when doing normal maintenance on the tree, the property owner applies for a free resource consent that ensures the maintenance is professional and beneficial for the health of the tree. Grants towards the costs of maintenance are also available from the DCC.

There have been six groups of trees and several individual trees nominated which are on properties that are not owned by the nominator. In these cases, the DCC will contact the owners to determine their view on the nomination.

Following the nomination period, each tree will be evaluated against criteria relating to the condition of the tree, its amenity characteristics and any other important values it has (including stature, and historic or scientific value), as well as considering other aspects such as age, height, function and occurrence of the species, and any negative factors.

If the tree meets the criteria, it will be included in the draft Schedule of Significant Trees which will be notified to the public with the rest of the draft second generation District Plan for public submissions.

All enquiries should be addressed to Landscape Architect by phoning 477 4000 or emailing planning@dcc.govt.nz

Nomination forms are available from www.dunedin.govt.nz/2gp/io/trees or the DCC’s Customer Services Centre. Nominations should be posted to: Attention: Landscape Architect, City Planning, Dunedin City Council, PO Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058.

Contact City Development Manager on 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DCC, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

24 responses to “DCC: Significant Trees

  1. Still time to nominate for significant tree schedule
    With only days to go before nominations close, the Dunedin City Council has received 33 nominations for significant trees to be included in the second generation district plan.

  2. ### dunedintv.co.nz April 30, 2014 – 6:18pm
    Tree on the chopping block
    A century-old Dunedin tree faces the chopping block. The Wellingtonia in Wakari is more than 100 years old, and could be removed to protect a building that surrounds it, as well as the occupants. The Dunedin City Council hearings committee is considering just how dangerous the tree is.


    Protected tree (towering Wellingtonia) plus significant health and safety matters. Wrong tree, wrong housing built near it well after planting. Hmm.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz April 22, 2014 – 6:04pm
    Tree’s fate in the hands of the hearings committee
    A Dunedin City Council planner has stopped short of recommending life or death for a significant tree in a complex position.

  3. It’s an interesting debate this issue, especially in areas where urban development has caught up with formerly semi-rural areas. Also because historically these sections would have been significantly larger once and could have accommodated these trees. There are quite a number of Wellingtonia in Dunedin, they grow well in our area due to the similarity in climate to their natural range. Urban trees are important to the landscape and their protection in the city context for biodiversity and historical/heritage reasons quite valid. The management of significant trees in private property is similar to the management of privately owned heritage buildings, with landowners feeling their rights to development have been constrained by wider public ownership. Like heritage buildings significant trees provide ecological and aesthetic services to the wider community. The District Plan has been interesting from this perspective, with only scheduled trees forming part of the wider protection of significant trees in the city. The previous plan took a much wider approach with all trees (both native and exotic) having protected status based on stem size. This led to a less litigious approach between Council and landowners, whereby mediation and appropriate advice could be entered into before a consent hearing was required. It often led to better decision making and often better compromises being made about land management and development. One thing the District Plan lacks at present is a wider examination and advocacy for the use of trees in the urban landscape, in particular standards and advice on appropriate species and landscaping treatments. Many regions now provide advice on what type of species are appropriate that complement the landscape and local biodiversity. This approach would be very useful in Dunedin and would lead to more surety for property owners and developers. It would also help to reduce issues over trees in the future and create better urban landscape connectivity. In an urban context like this example it may simply be too difficult to retain the tree in its current context. Simply put “the wrong tree in the wrong place.” The answer maybe to look at a compensatory approach where the removal is allowed but in return for replanting species in another area that balances the loss with another gain. This could be done via mediation rather than through a consent process and would be more beneficial to both the applicant, the Council and the urban landscape.

  4. If one visited the UTube clip showing the tortured gyrations of a wellingtonia in Nelson during the recent tail of cyclone Ita you would see the final act. Tally, two houses seriously damaged and a section hugely disrupted. Again, wrong tree in wrong place. Who would have thought?

  5. In the ODT tomorrow, news that Otago Cricket wants to fell the avenue trees at Logan Park for their redevelopment of the cricket ground (see their DAP submission). Bastards.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s for SPORT, Elizabeth. No sacrifice is too great for SPORT.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Except if it’s a sacrifice BY the sport involved. Sacrifice such as paying their own way, or adapting their plans to fit into an environment enjoyed and – one would have thought – owned by the rest of us instead of requiring it to be destroyed for their benefit..

    • I love most forms of non Tartan SPORT which have no need to massacre memorial trees or rort ratepayers.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Met 3 young rugby players recently who reminded me of the class of human being that gave rugby – and other team sports – a good reputation. Three non-professional players who chopped firewood for club funds, coached younger kids, had helpful attitudes to strangers (and I’m a bit strange when there’s a y in the day) and were overall impressive guys. The full-depth tawdriness of professional sports bludgers tends to overshadow how OK the less exalted players, refs, coaches and so on are.

  8. Well said. The history of passive recreation and amateur sport at Logan Park is getting slayed step by step by professional rugby and cricket bosses.

    As for the porcine suits that run Otago Cricket… Surprised they haven’t booked a black-tie dinner on the ratepayers yet. They’ve been keen to down these trees for many years. Just as they were to demo the old Logan Park Art Gallery building before the actions of NZHPT (now called Heritage New Zealand) got up their noses as well as glazing the eyes of Mr Graham Hall, ex DCC general manager (Community Life).

    • Mike

      Yes note that the cricket people aren’t (at least initially) asking for money – while they are asking for the city to turn over the control of land, and as a result rebuild the one way bridge on the other side of of the parking lot to be 2-way – in this case it’s very much what they are not asking for which is most expensive to the city.

      {More at DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 hearings -Eds}

  9. Elizabeth

    Very significant old Wellingtonia on Taieri Rd executed by DCC firing squad. Low grade building under it owned by Pact deserved demolition and all residents rehoused in well-designed accommodation at another location. There was plenty of time to effect the save – but who gave resource consent for the Pact building given the tree was there first by a large margin.

    The decision is utter Council crap.

    [Video] http://www.dunedintv.co.nz/node/98876

  10. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Jul 2014
    Tree removed bit by bit
    Contractors use a crane yesterday to begin the delicate procedure of removing piece by piece a giant Wellingtonia tree growing in the courtyard of a Pact residential care facility for people with intellectual disabilities in the Dunedin suburb of Wakari. The city council recently granted Pact consent to remove the 100-year-old 38m-high protected tree, because it was messy and branches had damaged the roof.
    Read more


    See latest comments at the post Significant Tree: 28A Heriot Row.

  11. Peter

    Kind of interesting that this story appears at the same time it is revealed that Pact management has tried to screw its workers under false pretence.
    How much truth, therefore, is behind their claims about this tree’s impact? Just wondering.

  12. Elizabeth


    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 15, 2014 – 7:20pm
    Century-old tree gets the axe
    Arborists have begun removing a century-old tree from a Wakari property, following the city council’s granting of consent to do so. 

  13. Elizabeth

    ”The work in the Octagon at the time caused a number of people real concern and lessons had been learned.” –Mick Reece, DCC

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Nov 2014
    Lessons learned over Octagon tree root damage
    By Shawn McAvinue
    The three dead plane trees in the Octagon will be cut to ground level as soon as practicable, the Dunedin City Council community and environment committee decided at its meeting in Municipal Chambers yesterday.
    Cr Lee Vandervis asked if anything had been learned about the consequences of damaging root systems. The trees were damaged during the construction of retaining walls….
    Read more

  14. Why is it always Lee Vandervis who asks the why & how (and how much) questions, while the rest of them sit around like pimples on a pumpkin, accepting without curiosity, without any wish to know anything more, without any idea that by examining what happened last time there is a small chance the same mistakes won’t be made again and again?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    (Albert Einstein)

    I wonder if Lee’s Oma gave him the LIttle Golden Book of Einstein for his 5th birthday!

  15. Cars

    The real problem is that it is Lee who is doing the same thing all the time and expecting a different result!

  16. Ha-ha, good point, I suppose he’s never quite lost hope that one day the light of comprehension will flicker into life in some eyes in the room!

  17. Cars

    The only light in Lee’s tunnel is a train. Until some people with commercial nous and large orchestras are put in to assist him, he is a victim of the conspiracy of the dumb to influence the few. Unfortunately all committees work on the conspiracy of the dills who invariably defeat common sense. It is the reason why democracy, supposedly the best of a bad lot of governing systems always fails. The dills unite and the foretellers and clairvoyants are ostracised.

  18. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 26, 2015 – 5:51pm
    Dying plane trees to be removed from Octagon
    Contractors will start to remove two dying plane trees in the Octagon this evening.


    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Dates Set For Octagon Tree Removal

    This item was published on 19 Jan 2015

    Two large plane trees will be removed from the Octagon on 26 and 27 January. The trees are in poor health and their removal was signalled late last year. Dunedin City Council Group Manager Parks, Recreation and Aquatics Mick Reece says, “The trees are being removed because, despite an ongoing programme over the past few years to increase the health of all the plane trees, the condition of these two trees has rapidly declined. They now need to be removed for safety reasons.”
    In order to limit disruption to businesses and the public, the work is scheduled to take place from 7pm each night. Part of the road through the Octagon will be closed while the work is carried out. Before this work can proceed, the irrigation system needs to be disconnected from the trees being removed. This will take place during the day on Wednesday, 21 January and means the footpath on the lower side of the carriageway will be closed off at times.
    The DCC is offering free sections of wood for wood turning and other creative/craft uses. Organisations wishing to take up this offer should contact DCC contractor Asplundh on 03 488 6378 by 30 January.

    Contact Group Manager Parks, Recreation and Aquatics on 03 477 4000.
    DCC Link

  19. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 27 Jan 2015
    Two Octagon trees to go [photo]
    Arborist Masiu Akauola, from Dunedin City Council contractor Asplundh, takes down one of the unhealthy 130-year-old plane trees in the Octagon last night. Two of the trees that line the Octagon are being removed for safety reasons after a report last year identified them as suffering from root damage and a fungal disease.
    Read more

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