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Pruning or removing trees on public land
With more than half a million trees on public land, they are one of Auckland's most important assets. Trees play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment, reduce pollution and keep our city cool.
Auckland’s trees are cared for by a team of professional arborists and urban foresters who are qualified to assess and maintain a healthy tree canopy.
Our tree management is guided by industry best practice, Auckland’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy, and our tree management contract specifications.
Why we prune trees on public land
Our arborists prune our trees to manage risk and maintain tree health and longevity.
Our team monitors tree conditions in urban areas and prune them only when needed. A routine street tree pruning takes place, on average, every five years.
Trees are pruned if they obstruct:
- footpath and roads
- street lighting
- vehicle access to public areas
- traffic signage and road visibility.
Trees are pruned according to industry best practice.
When we do not prune trees
We do not prune public trees:
- to reduce leaf, seed, flower, fruit, or twig debris
- to preserve or create views for properties
- for solar access or to reduce shade cast
- for property development.
We do not practice or condone tree topping, which is the removal of large branches at the top of the tree for height reduction.
Topping can result in weak re-growth, decay, safety issues, increased maintenance, and a shortened life span.
Public tree removal
We may remove trees from public land when they are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous to people or property.
A tree may be removed if:
- it is diseased, dead, or incurably declining
- it is causing a traffic issue or reducing visibility of a road or footpath that pruning cannot resolve
- it is needed to preserve other trees
- it is assessed by a qualified arborist as needing to be removed.
When we will not remove a tree
A public tree will not be removed:
- to preserve or create views for properties
- for solar access or to reduce shade
- to reduce leaf litter or tree debris fall
- because of roosting birds
- for private property development
- for seasonal or minor allergenic or irritant response
- for unfounded property damage claims.
|Protect our trees from disease||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/plants-animals/protect-trees-disease||Protect our trees from disease||Find out how you can help to protect our trees from kauri dieback disease and myrtle rust.||aspx|
|Apply to work on or around a council tree||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/working-on-around-trees/Pages/check-you-can-chop-prune-trim-tree-council-property.aspx||Apply to work on or around a council tree||Check if your tree is growing on public land and what happens if you want to trim or remove a council owned tree, or you need to apply for tree owner approval.||aspx||Building and consents|
|What to do if your tree is dangerous and requires urgent removal or trimming away from the road||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/working-on-around-trees/Pages/what-you-need-tree-dangerous-requires-urgent-removal.aspx||What to do if your tree is dangerous and requires urgent removal or trimming away from the road||Check what you need to do if your tree is dangerous and needs urgent removal. In case it is protected, you will need an arborist's written advice. ||aspx||Building and consents|
|Working on or around protected trees||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/working-on-around-trees/Pages/working-on-around-protected-trees.aspx||Working on or around protected trees||You will need to apply for a resource consent to cut down, work around, trim or prune it, as the work may destroy it or cause irreparable damage to it. ||aspx||Resource consents|
|Maintenance requests for work on public trees||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/working-on-around-trees/Pages/maintenance-requests-public-trees.aspx||Maintenance requests for work on public trees||We assess requests for public tree maintenance and carry out work when needed, such as removing a broken hanging branch. ||aspx||Environment consultation
Building and consents|
|Auckland's Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/plans-projects-policies-reports-bylaws/our-plans-strategies/topic-based-plans-strategies/environmental-plans-strategies/Pages/urban-ngahere-forest-strategy.aspx||Auckland's Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy||Find out about our Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy.||aspx|