Urban Street Trees policy


1.0  Purpose

This policy is developed to balance the wider community benefits of healthy street trees with the concerns of neighbouring urban residents and utility service providers.

2.0  Background

The major urban centres of Timaru District all have street trees.

Benefits of urban street trees

  • Environmental enhancement
  • Better health
  • Community and social wellbeing
  • Improved property values

Concerns about urban street trees

  • Impact on neighbours’ personal values
  • Potential conflict with infrastructure services
  • Allergens
  • Infrastructure degradation

3.0  Key Definitions

  • Street trees are trees planted by Council in road reserves (usually in berms) and maintained by Council.
  • Urban areas primarily refer to Timaru, Temuka, Geraldine and Pleasant Point although there are also currently street trees in Pareora.  The urban area is defined on the rating roll and usually urban streets will have a speed restriction imposed.
  • Appropriate street trees are trees selected for size, form, climate tolerance and other factors to suit a specific location.
  • High profile street trees are those that are likely to have a greater public interest because of size or location, such as those in Central Business Districts.

4.0  Policy

4.1 General

4.1.1 Timaru District Council is committed to planting appropriate street trees in the urban areas of the Timaru District.

4.2 Street Tree Planting

4.2.1 Street tree planting will be carried out by Council and its approved contractors unless written approval is granted for others to do so.

4.2.2 All street tree plantings must conform to Council’s planting specifications.

4.2.3 Where there is an ongoing commitment by a group, edible fruit and nut tree plantings may be approved if sufficient ongoing funding for maintenance is provided by the applicant.  This would be on the proviso that fruit drop did not cause a nuisance for pedestrians, wasps didn’t become a major problem, the trees didn’t become a source of disease infection and current planting specifications were followed.

4.2.4 New subdivisions or streets will have dedicated space for street tree planting.  All costs associated with planting are to be met by the developer.  Where possible the planting will provide the best aesthetic and functional outcome for the street as a whole.

4.2.5 Street trees will be planted in accordance with approved Corridor Access Requests to ensure utility services corridor conflicts are avoided.

4.2.6 Tree planting will be considered for streets not previously planted.

4.2.7 Street tree planting specifications outline the requirements for successful physical planting.

4.2.8 Trees displaying attributes listed in Appendix 1 are not considered suitable for street tree planting.

4.3 Street Tree Management

4.3.1 Council and its appointed grounds maintenance or arborist contractors shall have sole access and responsibility to manage and maintain street trees unless written approval is granted, e.g. for edible fruit trees.

4.3.2 The management of street trees will conform to good arboriculture practice.

4.3.3 Where any unauthorised pruning or damage is caused to a street tree, costs associated with reinstatement will be charged to the person(s) or entity responsible.

4.4 Street Tree Removal and Replacement

4.4.1 Where Council or staff agree to the removal of individual trees for private benefits such as adjoining property development, the value of the existing tree and costs of removal and replanting in a suitable location will be charged to the person(s) or entity benefitting from the tree’s removal. The invoiced costs will be paid prior to work being carried out.

4.4.2 Decisions on unplanned maintenance (usually heavy pruning) or removal of healthy mature or high profile urban street trees from an entire street, or significant part thereof, because of the cost involved and the need to consider opposing views,  will be considered on a case by case basis.

4.4.3 Dead, diseased, damaged and unsafe trees will be removed and replaced.

4.4.4 All other removals and subsequent replanting of trees will be considered on a case by case basis.

4.5 Consultation with affected parties

4.5.1 For any complaint, new or replacement planting encompassing all trees in a street, the residents will generally be consulted.

Appendix 1

Attributes Not Appropriate for Street Trees

  • Invasive root system e.g. Poplar and Willow
  • Excessive fruit production
  • Problematic fruit drop
  • Excessive height or spread for the location
  • Excessive production of allergens e.g. Wattle and Silver Birch
  • Prone to  high infestations of pests or diseases e.g. Alders and Planes
  • Prone to readily spread beyond the planted area

Adopted District Services Committee 14 June 2016

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021