Why is Council proposing to remove the pine trees?

    The pines are estimated to be 80-100 years old. They are quite close to public paths and houses and around 10-20 trees fall or are removed per year for health and safety reasons.

    A report prepared in 2019 surveyed and assessed the pines onsite. The report recommended that the staged removal of pines, followed by revegetation planting as the most appropriate approach for the long-term management of the park. This approach is also consistent with historical management plans for the park.

    What are the potential benefits of the proposal to remove the pines and enhance the forest with new planting?

    • An increase in canopy cover over time
    • Increased carbon sequestration over time
    • Improved health and safety (reduced risk of trees falling)
    • Reduced damage to the watercourses in the park
    • Increased biodiversity and local fauna over time.

    How will environmental effects be managed?

    Specialist reports regarding noise, visual landscape effects, erosion and sediment control, ecology and arboriculture will be prepared which will ensure environmental effects are appropriately managed. Resource consent is required for the project and council will comply with any conditions of consent.

    When will the pine trees be removed?

    It is proposed that the removal will occur in a staged manner over 3-5 years. Planting will take place in the winter seasons following removal.

    Any noisy works are proposed to be undertaken between 9am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.  Mitigation measures will be adopted to minimise noise disturbance to close neighbours.

    How are the pine trees proposed to be removed?

    It is proposed that trees in Stands 3A and 3B will be removed with crane assistance to minimise damage to the native undergrowth. All other pines are proposed to be removed via ground felling methods.

    Will the park be closed during pine tree removal?

    As the pine removal is proposed to be staged over several years there will be no need to close the park during pine removal. Small sections of the park will be cordoned off during felling operations to ensure public health and safety.

    How was the proposed planting plan developed?

    Various guidance documents exist that have underpinned the planting plan, including the Auckland's Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy, Ōrākei Urban Ngahere Action Plan 2020, Long Term Concept Plan (2007) and Churchill Park Management Plan (1996). These documents provide the following key principles that have been taken into account in the design of the planting plan:

    1. Striving toward canopy cover of 30% by 2050 within Ōrakei Local board area
    2.  Maintaining the rural character of the park, including grazing
    3. Species origin split 70% of native trees/plants and 30% of exotic trees/plants. Orchard species will be included to provide community food gathering opportunities
    4. Location of the planting.

    The proposed plan was developed by a multi-disciplinary team, including ecologists, a landscape architect, an environmental planner, earthworks specialists, acoustic engineers and several arborists.