Trees play an integral part in reinforcing our identity as the Garden City, a reputation which many Christchurch residents pride themselves on.
As well as their aesthetic values, trees also provide a range of other essential environmental, economic, cultural and social community benefits.
With the current challenges being faced through climate change, the vital role which trees play in sequestering carbon, cooling through shade and managing stormwater has never been more important.
Given the important role trees play in our urban environment, tree removal will generally be a last resort and we will always look for alternatives.
Our Tree Policy covers how we manage trees on Council land, including the decision making process for removal.
On Council land, we can remove trees as part of the tree renewal program if the tree is:
We don't remove trees for the following reasons (unless approved under the Tree Policy:)
Decisions relating to the removal of trees which fall outside of the Councils regular tree renewal program are made by the relevant community board.
All decisions relating to the removal of trees on Council owned or administered land are in line with the Tree Policy.
Prior to any application for a tree removal proceeding, an inspection by a Council arborist, or our representative, is required.
You can request an inspection:
We will assess the tree to determine if it falls within the criteria for tree renewal. Alternatives to removal will also be explored to address the concerns raised.
If the tree does not meet the above requirements and no alternative solutions are considered satisfactory, you can submit a tree removal application.
Before you apply, make sure your removal request meets the criteria below.
A tree removal application can be submitted under one of the following three categories:
Section 4.20 of the Tree Policy.
Requests for removal of the trees will be considered for health reasons where there is confirmation from either the applicant's medical practitioner, a clinical immunologist or the medical officer of health confirming that the trees is/are the sole cause of the applicant's condition and that removal of the trees is the sole most practicable solution to significantly improving the applicant's condition.
Prior to submitting an application on human health grounds, you will need:
Section 4.21 of the Tree Policy.
Requests for removal of the trees that are causing property damage will be considered where the damage is confirmed to be a direct result of the tree and where no alternative measures (including engineering solutions) can be used to mitigate the problem.
Prior to submitting an application on property damage grounds, you will need:
Section 4.22 of the Tree Policy.
Requests for removal of the tree due to other issues will only be approved under exceptional circumstances and will be required to meet all of the criteria below:
Prior to submitting an application on the grounds of other issues, you will need:
A resource consent is likely to be required as part of a tree removal request for other issues if the tree meets any of the following criteria:
In addition to the criteria listed above, the Community Board will also take into account the following when determining whether or not the tree should be approved for removal.
The Community Board may also require that other residents who live within the vicinity of the tree are advised of the request and given the opportunity to comment either for or against the application.
Once your application has been lodged with us, a report will be generated for the relevant Community Board to consider during their next available meeting.
An email will be sent with a copy of the report to the applicant along with the time and date that it will be considered by the Community Board.
The cost of reports and any required resource consents associated with the application are charged to the applicant.
If a tree removal request is approved by the Community Board, the board may resolve that the applicant pay part or all of the costs, including: