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Tree Information x

Identifier: CR/1916
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Lloyd, M.
Registration Category: Notable tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:
Christchurch can have hard frosts in the winter, consequently early plantings of Phoenix palms tended to be in known micro-climates. Possibly one of the earliest Christchurch plantings is in Clifton Bay (just before Scarborough Beach), dating from the early 1930s [1], so this single Phoenix palm is a relative newcomer, having been planted circa 1975. Nonetheless, as the images show it qualifies as an ‘earthquake survivor’, with its central city location being another plus (there are very few Phoenix palms in central Christchurch). Indications are that as a new building goes up next to it, where the demolished Excelsior Hotel used to stand, its size and form will be appreciated. As the BeckerFraser photo shows, an attempt was made to save the façade of the Excelsior Hotel, a listed heritage building built in 1864, but ultimately it was demolished in 2016 [2]. The Phoenix palm is something of a last remnant of the hotel’s presence (it used to be next to an outside seating area), but as it grows in size it should become quite iconic in itself.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Gael Liston for viewing and photographing the palm on a visit to Christchurch. Thanks to Doc Ross for permission to reproduce his 2011 image.
1. ‘Sumner gardens competition’, The Press, 9 December, 1935. The palms are still growing today (see Google Maps)
2. ‘Excelsior Hotel’,, available at:

Single Tree Details

Genus: Phoenix
Species: canariensis
Common names: Canary Island date palm, phoenix palm
Height: 10.00m
Height measurement method: Estimated
Height Comments: (none)
Girth: 0 cm
Girth measurement height: 0 m
Girth Comments: not measured
Diameter: 0 cm
Crown Spread A: 3.00m
Crown Spread B: 3.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 3.00m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: circa 1975
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 49 years
Tree Health Description: Very good; has been well maintained; fenced off during building work
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: (none)
Champion Tree Score: 35
Local Protection Status: No
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
17 Sep 2023 Lloyd, M.


Lat/Long: -43.53457450348154 / 172.6398437023163
Location Name:
Address: Corner of High St and Manchester St
Suburb: South-central Christchurch
City/Town: Christchurch
Region: Canterbury
Location Description: Highly visible at this busy intersection.
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Christchurch City Council


Preview Credit Date
Mike Lloyd 17 Sep 2023
Mike Lloyd 17 Sep 2023
BeckerFraserPhotos 11 Oct 2011
Doc Ross 20 Sep 2011
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