Native Trees Planted For Urban Forest Project

Auckland energy company Vector launched a new programme Urban Forest, to raise awareness of the need to keep trees well clear from power lines, by planting thousands more of them to launch the initiative.

What is Urban Forest why it matters?

The Urban Forest is a concept that encompasses the landscape or vegetation of a city. Basically, it means natural, lower maintenance, less tailored or cared for, self-sustaining vegetation and treed areas that are characteristic of the forest, as opposed to the more formal and traditional layout of trees, shrubs, and flowers (so called “garden city”).

The vegetation plays key roles in everyday city life, providing home for our wildlife, filtering air and water, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere and making our cities not only suitable for living but nice place to be in.

This Urban Forest project means that the power company will replace every tree it must cut down for network management or safety purposes, with two new natives, planted in areas that help with local ecological restoration schemes.

What is the issue?

Keith Barber, Treescape® Ecological Manager explains: “The wrong tree in the wrong place can have large number of significant effects in the future. Over time as the trees grow, they can get to the point where they potentially overtop the power lines or grow into them. Eventually the branches brake off and it seriously affects the network, and the tree itself may need to be remove”. Another major issue is the increasing amount of severe storms and power outages causing serious damage to the network and the vegetation.

How we helped

At a recent volunteer planting event at Puhinui Reserve in South Auckland, staff from Vector, joined with the Treescape® team and community volunteers planted approximately 3000 native seedlings.

Urban Forest initiative resonates with the company’s beliefs and focuses on the way how we replenish the environment when we have removed trees or vegetation. James Fletcher, Treescape® CEO highlighted that this event strongly reinforces Treescape® commitment to a broader Green Asset Management programme.

Ultimately, Urban Forest is all about helping create more sustainable cities and communities. By targeting the new planting towards areas that are at risk of erosion and other eco-system imbalances, including waterway restorations and urban reforestation schemes, we can achieve better tree management for the city while also improving social and environmental outcomes.