“May your memories grow with the trees.”

2019 tree planting

The 2019 planting season on the Port Hills has now ended until next winter. Trees will not be available until May 2020.

Planting locations

There are 3 main planting sites that are reasonably accessible and close to Victoria Park, and can be pointed out to you when you pick up the tree:

Tawhairaunui Trail

Wheel chair accessible track below Victoria Park Rd – starts behind Visitor Centre and finishes in Tawhairaunui carpark opposite the dog park. In non-grassed areas only please to assist with mowing.

New planting site below Tawhairaunui trail: park at the 3 park carpark on Victoria Park Road, 100m beyond the main carpark and before the carpark at the rear of the Visitor Centre and Ranger HQ. From the 3 park carpark, cross the Tawhairaunui trail and follow the mown 4x4 track and the low stone wall to where it meets another 4x4 track. At this junction there is a new seat and cleared area for planting. There is plenty of space to plant to the lower left of the seat as the area in front of the seat is now

Latters Spur Track

Walking track starts from the main carpark, heads south just under the main Victoria Park spur on the Bowenvale Valley side. The planting area is below Latters Spur track in amongst the new area of plantings (children’s Arbor Day plantings) behind the 19th memorial.

Bush Head Restoration Area

Access off the Summit Road. Turn left at the Sign of the Kiwi, drive approx 3kms east to the layby in the saddle between the two conifer knolls of Scotts Reserve. The planting area is below the road, across a stile and along the mountain bike track to the north in the fenced off restoration area.


Kowhai or totara trees are available for placenta tree plantings at $15 each. Trees can be picked up from the Port Hills Ranger Base in Victoria Park, once a time has been arranged with a ranger.

Victoria Park access – drive up Dyers Pass Rd, turn sharp left at the Sign of the Takahe onto Hackthorne Rd, and immediately sharp right onto Victoria Park Rd. Follow Victoria Park road into the park for about 1km, continue past the main carpark (with toilets and playground), around the back of the hill to a driveway on the left accessing our ranger base (just beyond the second small carpark at the rear of the Visitor Centre on the hill). Drive into the compound parking area and either find a ranger in the tea room beside the cattlestop on the driveway, or in the office up the path from the tearoom on the hill.

Tree planting with a placenta

  1. Find a site at least 3m away from any other planted totara/kowhai trees to ensure they each have sufficient space
  2. Bench a flat site into the slope, approx 500mm x 300mm (the area of the weedmat provided)
  3. Dig a hole 500 – 600mm deep, allowing for at least 200mm of soil on top of the placenta to prevent burning the roots
  4. Plant the tree so the potting mix sits about 50mm below the natural soil surface. Fill in soil and heel in firmly.
  5. Use available leaf litter or grass (not soil) to cover the weedmat as a thick mulch layer. This ensures the weed mat will stay in place to reduce weed competition, and improve moisture retention for the plant.
  6. Bring some water with you to water the plant in, and continue to water over dry summer months if planting late in the year
  7. Plaques are avoided to keep planting areas as natural as possible, but small natural identifiers such as a small rock, carved stake or woven flax weedmat are fine to be able to identify your tree in the future.