Arbor Day is held every year on 5 June to draw attention to the importance of trees in our society. Plant a tree and grow our future.

Zhu family planting at The Groynes.

Arbor Day is a day where people are encouraged to plant trees. Many countries observe the holiday but the date varies depending on climate and season.

The world’s first documented arbor festival took place in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo in 1594 and the first dedicated Arbor Day was held in Nebraska in 1872. New Zealand celebrated Arbor Day for the first time in Greytown in 1890 and has celebrated it annually on June 5 since 1977. 

The Christchurch City Council celebrates Arbor Day by organising community plantings in parks around the city and by supporting schools and community groups in their tree-planting activities.

Papanui Bush (Bridgestone Reserve) 

This annual Arbor Day event held in partnership with Papanui Rotary, Papanui High School and Council is always a highlight of planting season. 

Help slowly turn this once bare stormwater drainage basin into a thriving wetland and visit the previous year's plantings to celebrate their growth! We will finish with a BBQ - a chance to share kai and conversation. 

We have two dates to offer this year: 

Date: Friday 9 June (rain postponement date Friday 16 June)

Time:  10am - 1pm

School's focus day - students from local schools will be coming together to do their bit and you are welcome to come along. 

Date: Saturday 10 June (rain postponement date Saturday 17 June)

Time: 10am - 1pm 

Join Rotary and local community as they continue to enhance this amazing mini wetland and forest right in the heart of suburban Papanui. 

What to bring

  • Appropriate clothing for any weather: sunhat, warm jacket and raincoat.
  • Sturdy footwear or gumboots.
  • Personal work gloves.
  • Tools, sunscreen and gloves are supplied.


Port Hills planting days

There are two Port Hills planting days either side of Arbor Day. 


  • Saturday 3 June @ Bowenvale (Huntsbury) 
  • Saturday 10 June @ Dry Bush.

Time: 1-3pm

For more information about these and other planting dates on the Port Hills go to the Port Hills volunteer days page. 

Halswell Quarry Park

Date: Saturday 10 June

Time: 10am-12pm 

For more information about these and other planting dates at Halswell Quarry Park, go to the Halswell Quarry volunteer page. 


We encourage schools' involvement in action events by supporting their celebrations for Arbor Day.

Check out the Arbor Day school resource [PDF, 798 KB] for teachers.

Students may also like to come with their families to public events.

Tree planting is not just confined to Arbor Day, there are many planting days, maintenance days and ways you can be actively involved in parks throughout the city.

Find out how you can get involved in your parks.