Nominations open for notable trees
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.
The African cabbage tree outside the City Council building in The Square.