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Tree Information x

Identifier: AR/G0967
Tree Type: Group
Registered By: VanWijngaarden, R.
Registration Category: Historic tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:

Dating back to the mid-19th century, Western Park is one of the city's most distinguished open spaces. The park falls away from the Te Rimu Tahi (the lone Rimu tree) ridge. Orea (eels) were caught from the Tuna Mau stream, that once flowed through the centre of the park out to Waiatarau - Freemans Bay. The original park consisted of a coffin-shaped wedge extending from Ponsonby Road to Beresford Street, with access to the park being gained from a very narrow Ponsonby Road frontage.

In 1873, the council put forward the considerable sum of ten guineas as prize money for the best new park design, and 11 different concepts were submitted. The winners were Messrs Hammond and Blackmore with an intricate design entitled 'Lily of the Valley'. The new park was finished, and in 1874 the City Parks Committee noted that "the committee have caused upwards of 1100 deciduous and coniferous trees of the choicest kind to be planted in the park."

The park was vested to the City Council in 1875 and in 1897 the Auckland Star reported that the city had followed the example of 'the civilised world' when the park was officially opened.
Ref; Auckland Council website/Western Park, accessed 6 May 2012.

Trees identified as being of particular historic value in the Proposed Auckland City District Plan 1993 are: a Cook pine AR/0964, a Bhutan cypress, and two Canary Island pines AR/0975. The Cook pine tree (from New Caledonia) is thought to be the largest of this rare species growing in New Zealand. It is noted in Burstall & Sale's "Great Trees of New Zealand” (1984 - there are six smaller trees growing near Mansion House, Kawau Island). Other early plantings include: a Queensland kauri, a hoop pine, a camphor laurel AR/0966 (considered by Burstall (1971) to be "the best known in the City"), two Mexican cypress trees, a Mediterranean cypress (stated by Burstall (1971) to be "the largest recorded in the Auckland region, and possibly the oldest"), two Bhutan cypress trees, two stone pines, a number of common English oaks including one very large one AR/0965, two redwoods, a common elm and a Pinus radiata which at approximately 36 metres in height is thought to be one of the tallest in the region AR/0978 (VanWijngaarden, R. 2012).

Ref: pers. comm. Mike Wilcox, 11 September, 2011.

Group Details

Group Type: Mixed species
Feature Tree Genus: Cinnamomum
Feature Tree Species: camphora
Feature Tree Common Names: camphor laurel, camphor tree
Additional Feature Tree Genus: Araucaria
Additional Feature Tree Common names: Cook pine, New Caledonia pine
Additional Feature Tree Species: columnaris
QE II Covenanted: No
NZ Indigenous Bush type: Default Value
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: c1873
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 151 years
Tree Health Description: Most trees are in good health as Auckland Council perform routine maintence in the park.
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
Number of Trees: 1100
Area Covered: 8 hectares
Group of Tree Type: Amenity Planting


Date Observer Action
07 May 2012 VanWijngaarden, R.


Lat/Long: -36.856832059020796 / 174.75163578987122
Location Name: Western Park
Address: 5 to 7 Ponsonby Road, Beresford Street
Suburb: Freemans Bay
City/Town: Auckland
Region: Auckland
Location Description: The trees in this group listing are located throughout Western Park
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Auckland Council


Preview Credit Date
Russell VanWijngaarden 21 Apr 2012
Real Gold website 04 Oct 2007
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