1
Guidelines for
Nominating a
Notable Tree for
Evaluation
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These guidelines outline the requirements for nominating
a notable tree for evaluation by Auckland Council for
inclusion on the region’s Notable Tree Schedule. This
document will assist you in completing and submitting
the nomination form.
Nominating a tree
Any person or organisation may nominate a tree or group
of trees for evaluation by completing and submitting the
nomination form.
Before you submit a nomination, please read these
guidelines to check whether nomination is appropriate,
and to ensure that you complete the form correctly.
You should only nominate a tree or group of trees if you
consider it has signicant value and would be a worthy
addition to Auckland’s Notable Tree Schedule.
Purpose of evaluation
The purpose of this evaluation is to identify notable trees
for inclusion in Auckland’s Notable Tree Schedule, or for
other appropriate management to protect the tree such
as a legal covenant.
Nomination of a tree or group of trees does not
automatically guarantee that it will be evaluated or
considered for scheduling. Priority will be given to
nominations for trees on the nominator’s property or on
public land (open space, reserves or streets) and to those
that are not already scheduled as part of a Signicant
Ecological Area. Priority will also be given to nominations
that clearly identify the values of the tree and are
supported by relevant background information. Therefore
you are encouraged to make a persuasive case for the
signicance of the tree.
What is a Notable Tree?
Practically all trees play important economic,
environmental and social roles in any district of New
Zealand. However, some trees are often thought of as
being of greater value than others. That is, there are
some specimen trees, or groups of trees, that stand out
as being notable, signicant or distinguished. It is those
trees that, for various reasons, are selected by territorial
local authorities, throughout New Zealand, for inclusion
on a notable tree schedule in a district plan. Through this
mechanism they gain greater legal protection.
Notable trees are generally those that a community or
nation regard as being of special importance because they
commemorate important events in a nation’s history, are
exceptional or unique examples of a species, are critical
to the survival of other species or are of such age, stature,
character and visibility that they are regarded as the best
in the district.
What is the Notable Tree Schedule?
Auckland’s Notable Tree Schedule is a list of signicant
trees or groups of trees in the Auckland region. Inclusion
of a tree or group of trees in the Schedule means that:
It has been ofcially recognised by the Auckland
Council as being a Notable Tree
It is protected by provisions in district or unitary
plans to ensure it is not damaged or destroyed
It may be eligible for grants and other incentives.
Nomination
Guidelines
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Criteria for scheduling Notable Trees
Auckland Council has proposed criteria for evaluating
the importance of trees and the level of signicance
required to be considered for inclusion in the Notable Tree
Schedule. There are three types of criteria: Special factors
(stand alone), Negative factors and Tree Specic factors.
The special factor criteria are stand alone which means
that if a tree or group of trees meets any one criterion
then it is deemed notable. The tree-specic criteria require
a cumulative assessment. That means, for a tree or group
of trees to be notable, it must have a cumulative score of
20 or more out of 40 using the scoring systems described
in Appendix 1.
Both the special factor and tree-specic criteria are used
in combination to determine whether a tree or group of
trees is notable. A tree will be notable if it meets only one
of the special factors or the score threshold for
tree-specic criteria.
In addition, the assessment against the Special factor
and tree-specic criteria is then balanced by taking into
account the potential negative effects of the tree. In
situations where negative effects occur then these must
be offset against the benets of protecting a notable
tree. This methodology does not provide a denitive way
to make this decision but it relies on the expertise of
trained arborists assessing the risk of the negative effects
occurring and the overall signicance of the tree. The
critical part of this assessment is determining whether
the hazard or negative effects are unmanageable. Most
hazards and all nuisance effects can be managed but in
instances where they are unmanageable a tree will not
be scheduled as notable. Pest plants listed in the Regional
Pest Management Strategy or Plan will not be scheduled.
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Special Factors (stand alone)
A. Heritage
- Is associated with or commemorates an historic event
(including Maori history or legend)
- Has strong public associations or has an historic
association with a well known historic or notable gure
- Is strongly associated with a local historic feature and
now forms a signicant part of that feature
B. Scientic
- Is the only example of the species in Auckland or the
largest known specimen of the species in Auckland
(including height and lateral spread) (only applies to
individual trees)
- Is a signicant example of a species rare in Auckland or a
native species that is nationally or regionally threatened
(as assessed by the Department of Conservation (DOC)
or on the regional threatened species list)
- Has outstanding value because of its scientic
signicance
C. Ecosystem service
- Provides critical habitat for a threatened native species
population e.g., bats, chevron skinks, kiwi, yellow
mistletoe etc
D. Cultural
- Demonstrates a custom, way of life or process that was
common but is now rare, is in danger of being lost or
has been lost
- Has an important role in dening the communal identity
and distinctiveness of the community through having
special symbolic, spiritual, commemorative, traditional
or other cultural value or represents important aspects
of collective memory, identity or remembrance, the
meanings of which should not be forgotten
- Is a landmark, or marker that the community identies
with
E. Intrinsic
- Is intrinsically notable because of a combination of
factors including the size, age, vigour and vitality,
stature and form or visual contribution of the tree or
group of trees
Negative Effects
F. Negative effects
- Are there any matters that may weigh against the tree’s
long term protection at this location?
- Does the tree present negative impacts upon human
health and / or property?
- Are these negative effects manageable through
arboricultural or property management means?
- Is the tree species listed in the Regional Pest Management
Strategy as a Total Control or Containment Plant or
listed under the Biosecurity Act 1993 as an Unwanted
Organism?
Tree-specic factors (see below for scoring)
G. Age and health
- Is notable because of its age (e.g., the oldest of its
species in Auckland) and there is something about the
vigour and vitality of the tree or group of trees which
makes it notable given other factors (such as its age)
H. Character and form
- Is an exceptional example of the species in character
and/or form (i.e., text book shape or has a particular
relationship with its environment) or attributes that
makes it unique
I. Size
- It is an exceptional size for the species in this location
(including height, girth or lateral spread)
J. Visual contribution
- It makes a signicant contribution to the visual character
of an area or to the vista from elsewhere in Auckland
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Thresholds
When applying tree-specic factors to groups of trees an
average assessment for all trees in the group should be
used. At least one individual in a group must be scheduled
independently as notable and all trees in the group must
be physically close to each other or form a collective
or functional unit through meeting at least one of the
following criteria: 1. Canopies touch; 2. Canopies overlap;
3. Canopies are not further than 5 metres apart.
To be considered eligible for inclusion in Auckland’s
Notable Tree Schedule, a tree or group of trees must meet
at least one of the special factor criteria or achieve a score
of 20 or more for tree-specic criteria.
Other tree specic factors are also taken into account
in the decision to recommend a tree for scheduling.
Sometimes scheduling is not the most appropriate way
of protecting an important tree. For example, it may be
part of a signicant indigenous plant community and it
would be more appropriate to schedule as a Signicant
Ecological Area (SEA) or it may already be within one of
this SEAs and therefore a lower priority for evaluation.
The nal decision over whether to schedule a notable tree
or group of trees is made by the Council after assessing
the information obtained from this process.
What trees can be nominated?
Any tree or groups of trees may be nominated including
those in towns, streetscapes and settlements, gardens,
trees and plantings or they may be naturally occurring
trees in parks, reserves or covenants.
Frivolous or vexatious nominations will not be accepted
including nominations for:
Any tree or groups of trees that has been planted and
is less than 20 years old, other than in exceptional
circumstances
Moveable or portable trees such as those in planter
boxes.
Any tree that cannot be accurately located or identied.
Priority will be given to trees nominated for inclusion in
Auckland’s schedule of Notable Trees that occur on the
property of the nominee or in a public reserve. Detailed
nominations supported with good information will
have an increased chance of being processed quickly for
acceptance into the schedule and will be peer reviewed.
Nominations providing limited information, or those
for trees on another person’s private property will be
processed as and when resources are made available.
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Completing the nomination form
(see Appendix 1)
Before completing the form
Before you complete the nomination form
(see Appendix 1) you should check your existing Notable
Tree Schedule to ensure that the tree or group of trees is
not already scheduled.
Completing the form
You are encouraged to complete and submit the
nomination form in electronic format. You can download
an electronic copy of the form from the Auckland Council
website (http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz)
Section 1 (Contact details)
We need to be able to acknowledge receipt of your
nomination, verify information if needed, and keep you
informed. We cannot accept anonymous nominations.
Section 2 (Address)
We need to know where the tree is. If it doesn’t have a
street address, you can provide the legal description or
grid reference (using NZ Transverse Mercator coordinates).
You can access these through the council’s GIS viewer:
http://maps.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/
aucklandcouncilviewer/
Legal description: use the ‘identify’ button on the
toolbars on the right of the screen Grid reference: go to
Tools/capture map coordinates. Print out and attach an
aerial photo of the site with the tree clearly circled. If
there are multiple trees please show where each tree is
located.
Section 3 (Owner/occupier)
Complete this section if you have access to this
information.
Section 4 (Description)
You should include a description of the tree and its
location. For example provide a description of the
estimated height, age, species and context for the tree.
Section 5 (Threats)
It is useful to identify known threats to the tree, because
this will assist in prioritising nominations. For example,
pressure from development, risk of being removed to
create views etc.
Sections 6 - 8 (Tree specic and special factors and
negative effects)
You should evaluate the tree or group of trees against
each of the criteria. This will be the primary means by
which we will evaluate a tree.
Section 9 (Conclusions)
Summarise your conclusions about the tree or group of
trees here.
Further assistance
If you need assistance with the form, please contact
the Council’s Heritage team by email at
heritage@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
Please complete the form in as much detail as possible.
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Can I provide information in condence?
Generally not. Evaluation of Auckland’s heritage is a
public process. All members of the public, including the
owner of a tree, are entitled to access all information held
by the Council on a property. Councils are only required
to restrict access to sensitive information about places
of signicance to tangata whenua as this is a statutory
requirement under the Resource Management Act 1991.
All other information relating to a property is public
information, and is therefore available to members of the
public upon request. If you have concerns about providing
information that is, or may be sensitive or subject to
copyright, you should discuss this with staff in the
Council’s Heritage Unit before providing the information.
What about my personal details?
The Council has a responsibility to comply with the
Privacy Act 1993 and the Local Government Ofcial
Information and Meetings Act 1987. All information
provided to, and held by Council as public records, is public
information and is subject to disclosure upon request
unless there are reasons why it should not be disclosed. If
you have concerns, you should refer to the relevant Acts,
and seek independent advice.
What if I don’t have the time or knowledge to
provide all the information you require?
The more supporting evidence you can provide the better.
Nominations that lack sufcient information may be
assigned a low priority for evaluation. You could approach
your Local Board, botanical society or other community
group to assist with the nomination or to make it on your
behalf.
Why can’t the Council evaluate all nominated
trees?
The process of evaluating trees requires specialised
personnel and resources. As well as public nominations,
the council identies potentially signicant trees
through its own work. All nominations receive an initial
appraisal. Those that are unlikely to meet the signicance
thresholds or lack sufcient information will be assigned
a low priority or may not proceed. In some cases
nominated trees have been previously evaluated, so unless
new information becomes available they will not be re-
evaluated.
What is the best format for sending information
to the Council?
Electronic les are preferred. Original photographs or
documents should be scanned or copied. If you have large
les (over 10MB) send them in parts or convert them to
smaller le sizes (e.g. by converting them to PDF les) or
copy them onto a CD.
Can I protect my tree even if my tree is not
notable?
If you have a tree and you think it is special but is unlikely
to be scheduled as notable then there are alternatives to
enable it protection such as a private legal covenant.
Frequently Asked
Questions
9
This nomination form is to be used for assessing trees or groups of trees. When applying tree-specic factors to
groups of trees an average assessment for all trees in the group should be used. At least one individual in a group
must be scheduled independently as notable and all trees in the group must be physically close to each other or form
a collective or functional unit through meeting at least one of the following criteria: 1. Canopies touch; 2. Canopies
overlap; 3. Canopies are not further than 5 metres apart.
Section 1: Your Contact Details
Section 2: Address of the tree
Section 3: Owner/occupier
Section 4: Description
Section 5: Threats to the tree
Notable Tree
Nomination Form
10
Age and health
Is notable because of its age (e.g., the
oldest of its species in Auckland) and there
is something about the vigour and vitality
of the tree or group of trees which makes it
notable given other factors (such as its age)
Character and form
Is an exceptional example of the species
in character and/or form (i.e., text book
shape or has a particular relationship with
its environment) or attributes that makes it
unique
Size
It is an exceptional size for the species in this
location (including height, girth or lateral
spread)
Visual contribution
It makes a signicant contribution to the
visual character of an area or to the vista
from elsewhere in Auckland
Section 6: Tree-specic factors (see following page for scoring)
A tree can be scheduled as Notable if it achieves a score of 20 or more
Score
(see explanatory notes)
Comments
Section 7: Negative effects
Are there any matters that weigh against the tree’s long term
protection at this location?
Hazard and negative effects
Does the tree present negative impacts upon
human health and / or property?
Are these negative effects manageable
through arboricultural or property
management means?
Is the tree species listed in the Regional Pest
Management Strategy as a Total Control
or Containment Plant or listed under the
Biosecurity Act 1993 as an Unwanted
Organism?
YES NO
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These scoring systems are to be used when evaluating a tree against the tree-specic factors in Section 6 (see page 10).
Age and health
Character or form
Size
Visual contribution
This scoring system should be used when assessing the
age and health of a tree. It allows for trees that are old
and healthy to score much more highly than trees that
are either unhealthy or young. The degree of vigour and
vitality for any tree is assessed given the age of the tree.
Therefore, a tree that is over 100 years old and showing
high vigour and vitality, for a tree that age, will score a
10.
This scoring system should be used when assessing the
character or form of a tree. It allows for trees that are
exceptional examples at two spatial scales (from local to
Auckland-wide) to score more highly than trees that are
regarded as normal.
This scoring system should be used when assessing the
size of a tree (including height, girth and lateral spread).
It allows for trees that are larger than would be expected
(on average) for a particular location to be scored more
highly than trees that are at, or close to (or below), their
average height.
This scoring system should be used when assessing the
visual contribution of a tree. It allows for trees that are
seen by more people on a daily basis to score more
highly than trees that are rarely seen.
Vigour
and
vitality
High 3 5 6 8 10
2 4 6 8 8
2 4 6 6 7
2 4 4 5 5
Low 2 2 2 3 3
Age in
Years
<40 41-
60
61-
80
81-
100
>100
Not exceptional 0
Exceptional example locally 5
Exceptional example in Auckland 10
Average size for the species in this
location
0
Greater than average size (up to
25% larger)
5
Substantially greater than average
size (>25% larger)
10
In backyard or gully 2 e.g. fewer than
100 people see the
tree daily
Local park/community/
beside minor road or
feeder road/catchment
5 e.g. between 100
and 5000 people
see the tree daily
Main Road/motorway or
higly visible landform
10 e.g. more than
5000 people see
the tree daily
Scoring of tree specic factors
13
Section 8: Special factors (stand alone)
For a tree to be scheduled or Notable it needs to
meet only one of these special factors
Heritage
Is associated with or commemorates an historic event
(including Maori history or legend)
Has strong public associations or has an historic association
with a well known historic or notable gure
Is strongly associated with a local historic feature and now
forms a signicant part of that feature
Scientic
Is the only example of the species in Auckland or the largest
known specimen of the species in Auckland (including height
and lateral spread) (only applies to individual trees)
Is a signicant example of a species rare in Auckland or a
native species that is nationally or regionally threatened (as
assessed by DOC or on the regional threatened species list)
Has outstanding value because of its scientic signicance
Ecosystem service
Provides critical habitat for a threatened native species
population e.g., bats, chevron skinks, kiwi, yellow mistletoe etc
Cultural
Demonstrates a custom, way of life or process that was
common but is now rare, is in danger of being lost or has been
lost
Has an important role in dening the communal identity
and distinctiveness of the community through having special
symbolic, spiritual, commemorative, traditional or other
cultural value or represents important aspects of collective
memory, identity or remembrance, the meanings of which
should not be forgotten
Is a landmark, or marker that the community identies with
Intrinsic
Is intrinsically notable because of a combination of factors
including the size, age, vigour and vitality, stature and form or
visual contribution of the tree or group of trees
YES NO Comments
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Section 9: Conclusions
Include your nal assessment of whether or not the tree is notable and any additional comments. Note that under the
Tree-Specic factors, a score of 20 or more is needed before it can be scheduled or Notable.
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