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New home for stately Pohutukawa

21 Apr 2021
Click the image to watch a video of the tree transportation

After an impressive replanting effort, a 35-year old Pohutukawa tree in Aorere’s Mayflower Close has a new forever home.

Under the watchful eye of arborist Aaron Blackbourn, the stately native was dug up and transported 150 metres to its new home further along Winthrop Way, which is part of Kāinga Ora’s Mangere Development.

Aorere Assistant Development Manager Luke Hodgkinson said the relocation was a big win.

“The ability to save a decades-old native, and keep it in the neighbourhood to be enjoyed by tamariki and whānau in what will eventually become a new park is really rewarding,” he said.

“In bringing 500 new warm, dry homes to Aorere we need to upgrade and work around existing infrastructure built within the berm space.

“Sometimes this means that we need to remove or relocate trees in order to improve things like stormwater, which was the case for this Pohutukawa.

“It’s a great achievement to successfully transplant an established native within the development without clashing with new or existing infrastructure,” he said.

The 8 tonne, 6 metre tree is taller than a house and, according to Piritahi Project Manager Dennis Moananu, has taken well to its new home despite the three-day mission to get it there.

“It basically took us a day to dig carefully around the roots, a day to lift and transport the tree, and a third day to settle it into its new home,” Moananu explained.

“It will now be held in place by straps for a year, and will be regularly watered to ensure its ongoing health.”

Arborist Blackbourn says Pohutukawa usually respond positively to being transplanted and this tree has coped well.

“We knew that it had a very good chance of survival. It may well go on for another 400 years and outlive us all” he said.