When we looked to purchase this home over 20 years ago, our lawyer alerted us to the fact that on one boundary there was strip of city council reserve land.
The city council maintained the reserve and someone had planted a selection of native trees on it. Contract changes some 10 years ago saw this maintenance cease and the grass grew to knee high length despite my repeated calls to the council. Their argument was that it was our problem.
Luckily a neighbour knew an official in the council and rang this chap on our behalf. This resulted in a couple of managers coming to view the reserve to determine who owned it and who was responsible for it.
To our surprise one of the managers was the head of the Roading department and he quickly put things to right by announcing that it is technically “road” and the council’s responsibility.
When the road had been marked out on the original plans it was to be a cul-de-sac and there was to be a bus turning area which had quickly become the reserve once the road was extended further up the hill.
Whoever planted the native trees chose two Golden Totara, a Kowhai, a Kauri, a Karaka, some Taupatas and a Kahikatea. They were all planted with a lot of space between them.
Several Kauri have failed despite our care and concern but this one is looking happier.
The Golden Totara need to be trimmed to maintain visibility on the intersection.
The Kowhai is looking aged and gnarly but survives and flowers well.
The Karaka has fruited heavily this year but lacks any vigour and height and the Kahitakea is thriving. It is gaining height (it is now taller than our two storey house) it is a lovely shape and now has an epiphyte clinging to it as it would in the bush.
The Taupatas are huge and need trimming at times. The tougher the conditions the better they like it. And they seed prolifically.
I wonder who decided way back in the 1970s that planting giant native trees on a section of “road” reserve in an urban area was a wise thing? I fear for the stately, beautiful Kahikatea as it can attain great height.
Likewise the Kauri, although they grow very slowly and struggle in our clay soils. Kauri like wet feet and being surrounded by other trees as they grow.
For now I really enjoy the little patch of native specimens on our boundary but I do worry about the future as they grow ever taller.
I hope something sustainable will be the plan for the future.
Nice to see the natives growing on your verge, even though they may never become giants. But at least you can enjoy them for now.
They are special Juliet. It would be interesting to know what they were thinking when they planted it all those years ago. Natives were perhaps not as popular as they are nowadays.
Very interesting to see your native species of trees!
Thanks Jo. They do feel like they belong to us as they are just over a low fence. I’m glad someone thought of planting natives on the “road”. I’ll post some photos of the Taupatas soon.
Wonderful to have these beautiful trees on your boundary.
Thanks Ruth. I do feel fortunate to be able to enjoy some native specimens across my fence.
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