As part of the review of the current Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP) the Nelson City Council has reviewed the schedule of Heritage trees and the related provisions.

Last year, a draft version of the Nelson Plan was released to the public for feedback. That version didn’t include provisions on Notable trees as work was still be undertaken. We have now completed the Heritage tees review and are inviting affected landowners to provide their feedback.

Currently, there are three categories of “Heritage trees” identified in the NRMP. These are:

  • ‘Heritage trees’, the premier trees, the most notable in the Nelson region;
  • ‘Landscape trees’, also valued for their contribution to the amenity of urban environment; and
  • ‘Local trees’, which have some significance.

As a result of this review, a number of changes to the tree schedules are proposed in the Draft Nelson Plan:

  • The trees as a whole will be referred to as “Notable trees”, to avoid confusion between the group and the categories within it;
  • The ‘Local tree’ category will be removed from the schedule and as a consequence of the reassessment of these trees they are proposed to be either re-listed as a ‘Heritage’ or ‘Landscape’ tree, or to be removed from the schedule;
  • Some newly nominated trees have been assessed and a number of those added to the schedule;
  • The schedule is also being updated to reflect a number of trees that have been removed;
  • All of the other trees have been reassessed to ensure that the information is the most up-to-date, best-practice assessment has been followed and all tree assessments reflect the current state and values of the tree.
  • Minor pruning (removal of basal suckers, water sprouts, dead palm fronds and branches less than 50mm) by the landowners without the need for consent;
  • A wider range of other pruning by a qualified arborist without the need for consent (provided they get a certificate first to confirm that the work is necessary);
  • Removal of dead or terminally ill trees by a qualified arborist without the need for consent

Following up on some engagement with notable tree owners in 2017, we are also proposing some changes to the provisions of the Notable trees chapter. This includes:

The trees were assessed under the Standard Tree Evaluation Method (STEM), a methodology used by most councils. The STEM score assesses the tree under a number of different criteria, including vigour, age, height, rarity, form, historical values etc. The score for each criteria is then added up and the total score reflects the notability of the tree. The assessments were carried out by Brad Cadwallader, an independent consultant who is a highly qualified and experienced arborist. Brad has been the database manager of the national New Zealand tree register and has been involved in the assessment and protection of notable trees around the country.

We are engaging with notable tree property owners at this point to collect feedback on the changes and provide you with an opportunity to provide your input on the draft material.

You may also be aware that the council currently funds a two-yearly inspection of notable trees, including those on private land, and also assists tree owners with remedial work if any issues are found with the tree. There are no plans to change this arrangement.

Affected landowners have now been provided with a copy of the assessments for any current or nominated notable trees on their property. The notable tree schedule will reflect the STEM assessments in the listings of Heritage and Landscape trees.

If you would like to see the STEM assessment for any of the trees assessed, or have any questions relating to any of the information provided, please contact the Planning Team, by calling (03)546-0200 or emailing .