Tree maintenance

Man standing on a bridge over a stream in a tree-filled park.

Overview

Find out the responsibilities of home owners and the council when it comes to growing and maintaining trees on both private property and on the street.

We are responsible for more than 13,900 street trees as well as thousands more in our parks and reserves. 
 
We are working hard to provide urban vegetation that is suited to our climate, soils and geology so the roots do not damage pipes and services underground, such as power, stormwater and drinking water. Our trees are either evergreen or deciduous.

Trees on streets or public land

We maintain trees on public land, which includes streets, the city centre, parks and reserves, along the Manawatū River and Green Corridors

Let us know if a street tree is causing issues on your property

If a public tree is encroaching onto your property, let us know by calling 06 356 8199.

Please do not undertake any maintenance or remove the tree yourself. We arrange for qualified arborists to do this due to the need for traffic management and to ensure underground services are not damaged. If a public tree is damaged or vandalised, whoever is responsible can be charged and fined.

Dropping leaves, fruit and flowers are usually seasonal and does not provide enough justification for requesting an urban tree to be removed.

You can help to look after our street trees

Our urban trees are treasured community assets. You are welcome to take care of them, such as watering during dry months, cleaning debris such as leaves, flowers and fruits. However, you need to contact us to carry out any profession work, such as pruning or root and pest control.

Trees on private property

Vegetation on private property contributes the most to Palmy’s tree canopy. These trees are primarily located on the boundaries of private properties.

Make sure your trees don’t overhang onto footpaths

All trees and vegetation overhanging a street should be cut back to a height of at least 2.5 metres above the footpath and berm (grassed areas) and at least 5 metres above the road. This allows pedestrians to walk on the footpath without having to duck under branches (especially when it's been raining) and trucks and buses can drive down the road without impeding their vision, or damaging their vehicle or the tree.

A hedge growing through a fence must be cut back to your side of the property boundary. This will ensure that pedestrians don't have to walk on the berm or road, and allow sufficient room on the footpath for people with a pram or in a wheelchair.

You can prune your overhanging branches

We encourage everyone to maintain your trees so they don’t cause any problems for your neighbour. 

This includes if the tree is overhanging a boundary fence, blocking sunlight or views, or if the roots are interfering with drains, paths or fences. 

The law allows you to cut back any branches or roots from neighbours’ trees that are encroaching on your property. First, though, it’s always best to talk to your neighbour to see if you can agree on a solution. If you or your neighbour have a dispute over a tree, you should first try to work out a solution between yourselves. If you’re not able to do so you can take the issue to the Disputes Tribunal or District Court for a hearing and resolution, but we won’t get involved.

Trees tangled in powerlines

If a street tree is caught up in powerlines, or growing close to them, give us a call. If the tree is on your property, you need to contact PowerCo.

You can report trees or shrubs

If you would like to let us know about a tree or shrub blocking the footpath or road, please contact the Council on 06 356 8199, email info@pncc.govt.nz or report it using Snap Send Solve.

Once advised, we will contact the resident or property owner asking for the vegetation to be cut back from the footpath. Where a request is not complied with, we can issue a notice requesting action to be taken between 14 to 30 days depending on the urgency. If we don’t hear from the tree owner, we would undertake the work on their behalf and invoice for the work.

We will remove the debris so the road or footpath is safe. We then put the debris on the tree owner’s property for them to dispose.