Nom­i­na­tions open for no­table trees

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

A tree known as a favourite food of African ele­phants in its nat­u­ral set­ting, graces Palmer­ston North’s Te Marae o Hine in The Square.

Grow­ing al­most lat­er­ally out­side the city coun­cil ser­vice cen­tre, Cus­so­nia spi­cata, or the African cab­bage tree is one of the city’s nearly 100 pro­tected trees.

A na­tive of sub Sa­ha­ran Africa, coun­cil plan­ner Kee­gan Aplin-Thane said the tree was the southern-most ex­am­ple of this species in the world.

Like sev­eral of the trees listed as no­table, Aplin-Thane said there was no in­for­ma­tion marker for the cab­bage tree, and wouldn’t be un­til a bud­get was al­lo­cated.

How­ever, the coun­cil is on the look­out for more trees to add to the list, and is ask­ing peo­ple to send in nom­i­na­tions of trees for con­sid­er­a­tion and as­sess­ment.

‘‘No­table trees is a District Plan func­tion that pro­tects spe­cific trees on pub­lic or pri­vate land, and the city’s botan­i­cal her­itage. These are trees that need spe­cial care to en­sure that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions can en­joy them.’’

‘‘They’re pretty old, pretty big and pretty spe­cial,’’ Aplin-Thane said.

The op­por­tu­nity to add to the list only comes around un­der the District Plan once ev­ery five to 10 years.

‘‘The aim is to get as many qual­ity trees for con­sid­er­a­tion as pos­si­ble.’’

As­sessed as hav­ing a high his- tor­i­cal, botan­i­cal, en­vi­ron­men­tal or land­scape value, many of the her­itage trees were orig­i­nally planted for com­mem­o­ra­tive rea­sons, though in many cases those rea­sons have been for­got­ten or lost.

Many of the her­itage trees are coun­cil owned on re­serves or in the Vic­to­ria Es­planade.

The eval­u­a­tion takes into ac­count a tree’s age, size, shape, height girth, botan­i­cal rar­ity and the promi­nence or land­mark value.

While coun­cil recog­nises that no­table trees are of value to the wider com­mu­nity, the own­er­ship and re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain the tree is on the prop­erty owner.

Aplin-Thane said the coun­cil had a no­table tree in­cen­tive scheme that pro­vides the re­source con­sent and 70 per cent re­im­burse­ment up to $400 for a sin­gle tree, and up to $1500 for a group of trees.

‘‘We want to look af­ter tree own­ers - they are look­ing af­ter the city,’’ he said.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

The African cab­bage tree out­side the City Coun­cil build­ing in The Square.

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