Image of two houses with lots of trees in the background.

If you live in an urban area, in most cases, you are able to remove or prune a tree on your own property, without seeking permission from us.

Some trees have been identified by the community as having heritage value. These trees have special protection in our District Plan and are referred to as notable trees.

Trees within the road reserve, parks and reserves also have protection where they are of a certain size. These are referred to as public trees in the District Plan.

The rules can be found in the Notable Trees Chapter of the District Plan under Part 2 District-Wide Matters of our ePlan.

Whangārei ePlan Notable Trees Chapter

If a tree from a neighbour’s property is affecting your property, it is a civil matter and not something we can give advice on.  The consumer website has useful information.

Trees and neighbours (

Notable trees

Notable trees are those that have special protection and are listed individually or in stands in the District Plan.

No work can be carried out on, or within the drip line of, a notable tree without a land use consent.

Apply for a land use consent

Where a notable tree is within a road reserve, park or reserve you will also need the approval our Parks and Recreation team to undertake any work.

To allow for changes in the community's expectations and values over time, notable trees can be changed through a plan change process which involves formal consultation including submissions, hearings, reports and decisions.

District Plan change process

Viewing notable trees in ePlan

You can view the notable trees in our ePlan.

  1. Open the Whangārei ePlan
  2. layers-icon.png click on 'Layers' icon in the top right of the screen
  3. select the 'District-Wide Matters' layer. 

Notable trees will be displayed within the map as a green triangle icon. Image of the notable trees icon within the GIS map.   

Public trees

Trees of greater than 6.0m in height or with a girth (measured 1.4m above the ground) greater than 600mm that are located in the road reserve, parks or reserves administered by us are protected under the District Plan. 

Most works to and within the dripline of these protected public trees will require land use consent.

Apply for a land use consent

Any works to any tree in the road reserve, park or reserve (including esplanades) will also require the approval of our Parks and Recreation team regardless of whether it has protected status as a public tree.

Public tree policy

Our Management of Public Trees Policy provides guidance for the management of public trees.

Management of Public Trees Policy

Public Places Bylaw

The management of Council owned trees is also addressed in our Public Places Bylaw.  This requires that permission is sought from us to establish or remove vegetation from public places administered by us.

Public Places Bylaw 

Clearing indigenous vegetation

The District Plan controls the clearance of indigenous plants and trees in these areas of the District:

  • Large Lot Residential Zone
  • Low Density Residential Zone
  • Rural Production Zone
  • Rural Lifestyle Zone
  • Future Urban Zone
  • Coastal Environment Zone
    • High Natural Character Area
    • Outstanding Natural Character Area.

To find out if your property is in one of these zones or areas use the link below:

Find your property zone

The rules for indigenous vegetation clearance are found within the relevant zone chapters of the District Plan in our ePlan.

Whangārei ePlan

In most cases if you wish to clear more indigenous vegetation than is permitted in your zone or area, or the indigenous vegetation is located within 20 metres of a water body, you will need to apply for a land use consent.

Apply for a land use consent

There are some exceptions to the permitted standards that mean you may be able to clear more indigenous vegetation in your zone or area without a land use consent. For example where the vegetation clearance is required to enable routine maintenance.

If you are unsure, we recommend you reach out to our Duty Planner using the link below.

How we can help

Trees protected by conservation covenants

Some trees and nature areas are protected through conservation covenants. The felling of trees is banned in these areas.

Conservation covenants are registered on a property's record of title and are listed on a property's Land Information Memorandum.

Conservation covenants