Tuesday, April 23, 2024

First Christchurch tree planting plans released

The first tranche of detailed tree planting plans to grow Christchurch city’s tree cover as part of the Ōtautahi-Christchurch Urban Forest Plan 2023 have been released for public feedback.

The proposed plans cover 14 parks within the city, one in each of the six Community Board areas and the remainder focused on areas with low canopy such as  Linwood and Hornby, suburbs with the lowest percentage of existing tree coverage.

See the plans and the full list of parks here.

“This is the initial first phase of tree planting following the approval of the Urban Forest Plan earlier this month. We are keen to progress these 14 plans to make the most of the 2023 planting season which finishes in September,” says Council Head of Parks, Andrew Rutledge.

“Following the principles of the Urban Forest Plan, the tree species selected for planting will be a mix of 40-60 percent native. Species diversity is important to maintain a healthy tree population, however all species, whether native or deciduous, are selected because they are appropriate for the setting and growing conditions.  Along waterways, trees will be 100 per cent native.

“We’ve listened to feedback from residents and recession plane modelling has been used in the plans for new plantings  to prevent  winter shading of  people’s properties or sports fields. Canopy spread is also factored in to ensure branches won’t spread and encroach on private properties. Trees will be set back from footpaths to reduce any potential root intrusion and overhanging branches.”

The Urban forest plan sets out an overall target of 40% canopy cover for Christchurch parks, however each park will differ depending on how the park is used and the available space, Mr Rutledge said. The plans ensure that open spaces will be retain in parks that don’t have sports fields, he said.

“We have around 1350 parks and reserves across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula and a clear target for increasing our tree canopy cover over the next 50 years, so from next year, we’ll be ramping up plantings accordingly.”

“Trees play a vital role in our response to climate change, as well as contributing to the wellbeing and liveability of our neighbourhoods so we’re excited to see this programme is now underway,” says Mr Rutledge. 

Plans are open for feedback on Have Your Say page until Friday 17 July.

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