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Canterbury - Regional Information from Trees That Count
Canterbury - Regional Information from Trees That Count
Updated over a week ago

From extensive dune lands, fertile lowland plains, rugged inland valleys to subalpine zones – this region sees a wide variance in climate, soil and land use. Planting projects within urban Christchurch have been occurring for many years and so there is a sound grasp of ecological knowledge.

Outside of urban Christchurch there are extensive areas across the Canterbury plains which are suitable for planting, but a sparser knowledge base. This presents a great opportunity for expansion of large planting areas across the Canterbury Plains.

In the past planting efforts have been focussed on waterways and wetlands, but other ecosystems such as dry plains, coastal, dune and foothills have substantial potential to expand tree and other native vegetation cover.

Trees That Count is seeing increased interest in native regeneration in Christchurch City Boundaries (including Banks Peninsula) and there is a lot of interest from owners of smaller blocks on the rural fringe in Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts.

Choosing the right trees

Commonly used trees suitable for dry sites include the following:

• Tī kōuka (Cordyline australis)

• Kānuka (Kunzea ericoides)

• Karamū (Coprosma robusta)

• Kōhūhū (Pittosporum tenuifolium)

• Tarata (Pittosporum eugenioides)

• Mānatu (Plagianthus regius)

• Akeake (Dodonaea viscose)

• Tōtara (Podocarpus totara)

• Houhere (Hoheria sextylosa)

For sites with higher soil moisture levels:

• Mānuka (Leptospemum scoparium)

• Tī Kōuka (Cordyline australis)

• Karamū (Coprosma robusta)

• Kōhūhū (Pittosporum tenuifolium)

• Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides)

• Pōkākā (Elaeocarpus hookerianus)

Remember, every site will have its own requirements. It can take years to learn what works well, and each year you will encounter different issues: so successfully planting and growing native trees requires an agile approach.

Sourcing your trees

Contact local nurseries at least a year ahead of planting, even if just to express your interest, so you can assess their stocks and species selection.

Trees That Count supports eco- sourcing: plants should be grown from seeds collected from naturally occurring vegetation close to where they are to be planted. Not only does this help maintain your area’s natural uniqueness, but the plants will be suited to local conditions and more likely to survive. The nurseries listed below may also stock plants from outside your region, so you will need to ask specifically about their eco- sourced stock appropriate to your location.

Here's a list of Canterbury nurseries who can help with eco-sourced plants:

  • Cheviot: Hurunui Natives

  • Christchurch: Trees for Canterbury

  • Christchurch: Wai Ora Nursery

  • Little River: Living Streams Nursery

  • Motukarara: Department of Conservation Nursery

  • Templeton: Southern Woods

  • Geraldine: Opuha Nurseries

  • Waimate: Matai Nurseries

Preparing your site for planting

While some sites may require several years of weed control prior to planting, others may only need a pre-plant spot spray or spot clearance with hand tools. Trees That Count will supply native trees, but most new restoration plantings will require a variety of other species of flax, grass, sedge or small shrubs.

Initially, working out what to plant requires adequate assessment of a site to determine the soil type, rainfall, soil moisture levels and site aspect (slope and shade). A good way to determine what is likely to do well is to search for any original vegetation remnants or find local restoration projects close by and see what is growing. A good rule of thumb is to start with a very simple species selection, and take care not to cause damage to existing remnants.

The following resources may be particularly useful when planning:

Pest control is also an issue across all regions. Take a look at PredatorFree’s excellent resources.

Handy resources

If you’d like to review further information, the following guides might be useful to you:

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