Trees bring life and beauty to Purewa

Oct 25, 2022

The 133-year-old cemetery counts its trees among its greatest assets. More than 1000 trees bring life and beauty to Purewa.

Caring for the trees a priority

To ensure the trees remain in a healthy condition and don’t present a risk to people or property, Purewa carries out an audit of all trees every three years. Arborlab conducts the survey, reporting on the condition of the trees and making recommendations. Sometimes this means removing dangerous branches or even entire trees, but new planting is carried out wherever possible.

Arborlab senior arborist Leon Saxon says larger native species include Pohutukawa, Kohekohe, Puriri, Totara and Rewarewa. These are all important species for native fauna. “The most common exotic tree at Purewa is the Liquidambar and the most common native tree is Pohutukawa, while one of the uncommon exotic species is a Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)” he says.

A unique feature

“Purewa has a lot of mature trees, and it realises the importance of having these cared for by skilled, professional arborists to preserve and conserve their health, risk profile and beauty,” Leon says.

Purewa General Manager Alastair Crombie says the Purewa Trust Board recognises the importance of trees at the cemetery, where they provide shade, shelter and an ideal spot for reflection and enjoyment by families and visitors alike.

“Because of the age of the cemetery we have some very old trees which were probably planted not long after Purewa was established in 1889,” he says. “Over the years, an eclectic mix of natives and exotics have been planted. We undertake regular assessments to protect and conserve our trees, which are a unique feature of Purewa,” Alastair says.

For regular upkeep, Purewa relies on another arborist company. Oakwood Treecare carries out regular fortnightly maintenance. This ensures the trees are maintained in the best possible condition.

Recently two more Jacaranda trees have been planted in the E block area to add symmetry to the existing one.

Purewa covers 20-hectares (55 acres)
The cemetery is home to 1073 trees measuring four metres or more.
There are more than 100 different species in a diverse range including about 35 native and 75 exotic trees.
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