Still time to nominate for significant tree schedule

Anna Johnson.
Anna Johnson.
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.

Twelve of the nominations were made since the nomination period opened in December, and the remainder were made since the last review of the significant tree schedule, in April 2008. The nomination period closes on Friday. City development manager Dr Anna Johnson said nominations so far covered a range of tree species including totara, magnolia, pine, a variety of beeches, rhododendron, oak, elm, macrocarpa, chestnut, eastern dogwood, and walnut, located across the city.

About half of the nominations were for native trees.

She said people had nominated trees for all reasons, including some that had local historical significance. For example, a totara nominated on Portobello Rd was 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 did not mean the tree could not be touched, rather that when normal maintenance was done on it, the property owner had to apply for a free resource consent that ensured the maintenance was professional and beneficial for the health of the tree.

Grants towards the costs of maintenance were also available from the council.

Six groups of trees and several individual trees nominated were on properties not owned by the nominator. In those cases, the council would contact the owners to determine their view on the nomination.

Following the nomination period, each tree would 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 met the criteria, it would be included in the draft schedule of significant trees, which would be notified to the public with the rest of the draft second generation district plan for public submissions, Dr Johnson said.

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