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Tree Information x

Identifier: WTR/0051
Historical Reg No: 047
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Mole, R.H.
Registration Category: Notable tree – National interest
General Notes:
The Parliament Oak is a relic of the early plantings at Government House Gardens. Although not of great stature, this lone tree makes a significant contribution to the landscape by attracting attention from the otherwise sterile features of the surrounding area (Mole 1982).

The oak is situated in an area that was at one time the front garden of the former gardener’s cottage. Its exact provenance of the tree is uncertain but it is believed to have been planted in the 1860s. It is possible that it was grown from an acorn sent from the Cape of Good Hope by Governor Grey[1], although it may also have been the progeny of the oaks that had been planted by Colonel Wakefield in 1841. The tree, now enclosed in a protective fence has occupied this location for over 150 years (pers. comm. by email: L. Beaumont, 2019).
[1] John E. Martin, ‘Status of old oak tree in Museum Street’, May 2017.

This tree was saved by public protest in 1986-87 from being moved 10 metres to accommodate a new building which was eventually not built (Flook 1993).

References: Evening Post Wellington. 17 January 1987.17 January 1987. 10 February 1987. 10 July 1987. 18 July 1987. 7 August 1987. 27 August 1987. 15 November 1987. 17 November 1987. Cartoon by Heath. 18 November 1987. 18 November 1987. Leader. 18 November 1987. Interview.19 November 1987. 20 November 1987. 21 November 1987. 22 November 1987. 25 November 1987. 8 December 1987. 28 February 1988. Dominion Wellington. 15 November 1986. 25 November 1986. 9 December 1986. 4 February 1987. The Listener. 17 January 1987. Article by Bruce Ainsley.

Single Tree Details

Genus: Quercus
Species: robur
Common names: English oak, common oak, oak
Given Name: Parliament Oak
Height: 9.80m
Height measurement method: Laser Nikon Forestry 550
Height Comments: (none)
Girth: 252 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.4 m
Girth Comments: (none)
Diameter: 80.2 cm
Crown Spread A: 14.00m
Crown Spread B: 13.50m
Avg. Crown Spread: 13.75m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: circa 1860
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 164 years
Tree Health Description: In good health.
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: A very small tree for one of such great age.
Champion Tree Score: 143
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 144


Date Observer Action
04 Apr 2017 Hill. R.N. & Cadwallader, B.G.
22 Nov 1982 Mole, R.H.


Lat/Long: -41.27775718521979 / 174.77569850747477
Location Name: Parliament Grounds
Address: Museum Street
Suburb: Thorndon
City/Town: Wellington
Region: Wellington
Location Description: Immediately west of Government House
Public Accessibility: Commercial
Local Authority: Wellington City Council


Preview Credit Date
Brad Cadwallader 26 Oct 2022
Mike Radican, Works News Vol 18 no. 1 March 1987 29 Mar 1987
The Dominion, Eric Heath cartoon Nov 1986 18 Nov 1986
Unknown, c1986 Museum oak prepped for move 01 Apr 1986
Alexander Turbull Library Ref: 1/2-088250-G 01 Jan 1930
c1920 Nora Brebner, née Nicol. Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 20409 01 Jun 1920
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