It can be somewhat difficult to differentiate between which of Auckland’s trees are protected, and which are okay to chop! But given that there are hefty legal implications associated with cutting Auckland’s protected trees, it’s worth consulting a tree arborist before you get your axe out. The cost of tree removal could end up being much more than you’d anticipated!
In 2009, district plans in Auckland were modified to give several specific trees a protected status and make it more difficult to do anything that could be considered damaging – which even includes trimming. In response, the Government’s Resource Management (Streamlining and Simplifying) Amendment Act removed the district plan rules that protected urban trees and made it easier for homeowners to make their own decisions about how to care for their trees. However, the Auckland Council was later able to change district plan rules and add more local trees to a list of “notable trees” that would be protected.
Currently, there are several species of trees that are protected in Auckland, which include the puriri, Norfolk pine, kauri, totara and pohutukawa.
Before engaging in any kind of tree cutting or tree trimming, it is important to consult an Auckland tree arborist to make sure that what you are doing is legal and also good for the tree. Otherwise you could face stiff penalties for disregarding Auckland’s protection laws.