Is this tree protected?
Before you do irreversible damage to Auckland’s urban forest, and potentially your wallet, a quick check to make sure any trees you intend on cutting or removing aren’t protected, can save problems arising further down the track.
Auckland’s tree protection rules seem to change at a rate that might appear to be almost weekly, and there is a lot of incomplete, out-of-date, and just out-right wrong information out there. The best way to be certain is to phone Auckland Council’s planning helpdesk on (09) 301 0101, and try to get your answer in writing!
Penalties for breaking the rules can be huge, but aside from that there is actually good reason for most of the regulations, which are easily overlooked when planning tree work.
When amendments to the Resource Management Act removing the blanket tree protection rules came into force in 2015, a substantial portion of Auckland’s urban forest has been cleared at a rate far beyond what is sustainable. An article published on Newsroom.co.nz in late 2018 puts this in perspective: Auckland central tree loss ‘horrific’.
So what trees are protected?
In a nutshell, Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan offers protection for the following:
- Any tree that is registered as ‘Notable’.
- Trees within a designated “Significant Ecological Area” (SEA).
- Trees protected by a condition of a past resource consent.
- Trees protected by a covenant or a consent notice on a certificate of title.
- Trees or vegetation within 20m of a coastal cliff, stream or river bank.
- Trees or vegetation within or close to sensitive coastal or wetlands areas.
Our qualified and experienced arborists offer honest and professional advice on how best to achieve the results you want. We can often suggest cost-effective alternatives that yield better long-term results, whilst ensuring all work is within the rules and is carried out in accordance with arboricultural best practices.
With penalties as high as $300,000 or a two year jail sentence, the very least we can do is help you keep on the right side of the fence!