Notable trees - FAQ

Frequently asked questions on notable trees.

What are notable trees?

Notable trees are trees or group of trees in Porirua City that have special value to our community. They may be on public or private property. They are trees that have high historical, ecological or landscape value. 

The District Plan will ensure notable trees are protected from unnecessary damage or removal. The District Plan will also ensure the trees are able to be maintained to a safe and healthy standard for the enjoyment of the public, for now and in the future.

District councils use a tool called STEM or Standard Tree Evaluation Method to assess notable trees. It is a method that can be applied by qualified arborists to evaluate trees and give them a “score” based on the tree’s condition, its age and history, any impact on the landscape, and any other notable features.

We propose to set a minimum threshold score for trees to be able to be included in the District Plan. The minimum threshold score will be dependent on the findings of the arborists’ assessment overall. We anticipate it will be between 100 and 120 in line with best practice for notable trees around the country.

The trees that are confirmed as notable under STEM will be listed in the District Plan and protected from unnecessary damage or removal.

The proposed notable trees we have identified have not yet been assessed by arborists. We need to ask the community if we have missed any before the complete list is assessed by Council arborists. We think the trees we have identified have potentially high value under STEM.

The trees that are confirmed as notable under STEM will be listed in the District Plan and protected from unnecessary damage or removal.

You can nominate a tree or trees you think may be notable. All nominations will be available to be viewed by the general public. Council arborists will assess all nominated trees in June/July 2018. Please provide the following details when you nominate a tree in our online submission form:

  • the exact location of the tree or trees
  • name of the property owner if known
  • tree species and approximate size
  • why you think the tree should be protected (e.g. any detail of the tree’s history or value to community)
  • your contact number and email address (this information will only be visible to Council).

We are looking at allowing a level of work to be undertaken on notable trees that will ensure the tree can be maintained to a healthy standard. We are proposing that you will not need resource consent to do minor maintenance work, however it will need to be undertaken by an approved arborist. We are also proposing to allow work to be done on trees in emergency situations without the need for resource consent.

You will need to apply for a resource consent if you want to:

  • do more than minor trimming/maintenance work
  • remove the tree
  • do earthworks or build in the dripline of the tree.

We recommend that if you would like to do anything to a notable tree, or do earthworks or construction around a notable tree, that you contact Porirua City Council for free advice.

If you have further questions please contact us on 04 237 5089 or