Notice Board






Before & After



Notice Board


Pests & Diseases



The Notice Board is where our observations, articles of interest, photos, and anything else tree related are added


~Community Service Projects~

On our travels, we regularly pass through the Ngaio shops and after many years of watching the lemonwoods by the petrol station develop, decided to volunteer our services.                                                                            The aim is to enhance the natural form/shape of the trees by lightly clipping the growth back, revealing their true hidden potential.                   With regular maintenance, provided free of charge by Professional Arboriculture, these lemonwood trees will continue to develop into unique street tree specimens, adding value to the community and the landscape.


Lemonwood, ball shape - Before

Lemonwood, ball shape - After

Ball shape, maintained.

Lemonwood, egg shape - Before 

Lemonwood, egg shape - After

The latest addition to the shaped Lemonwoods is the 'Mushroom' shape. With no before picture, it was lightly crown lifted and carefully shaped to enhance the natural high mushroom form. This shape works very well with vehicles parking around the base of the tree and also having the main access to the flats passed the tree. A small low side branch was damaged in a storm and had to be removed creating a small gap in the shape of the mushroom but in time and through regular trimming will eventually fill in. It is our absolute pleasure to be involved with the on going management of these unique specimens and look forward to the possibility of adding a forth specimen to the collection! Watch this space....

 R.I.P Mushroom Lemonwood

Sadly, the Mushroom Lemonwood was a casualty of the huge storm on the 20th of June 2013. With strong winds of up to 200 km ripping through the area, it was blown over and had to be cut out. I am confident that Wellington City Council will replace it with another Lemonwood at which time we will continue to provide at no charge the careful on going pruning management that will optimize the replacement plant to its full potential.


Charities supported by PROARB LTD annually:

  • New Zealand Forest and Bird Wildlife Fund
  • Wellington Refugees Fund
  • Wellington Host Lions Club Ltd
  • New Zealand Police Managers Guild
  • Canteen, Child Cancer
  • New Zealand Cancer Society

Rope swing at bottom of Awa Rd, Miramar.

In 2004, Professional Arboriculture installed a rope swing on to a sturdy macrocarpa branch overhanging the reserve area at the corner of Awa Rd and Karaka Bay Rd Miramar, for the benefit of the community and visitors to the area. The rope swing became instantly popular with young children, including older children (adults), often having to wait in line to have a turn. Our self imposed responsibility for maintaining the rope swing is taken extremely seriously as public health and safety is a genuine concern.         The rope is carefully inspected about once every six months to ensure there is no risk of the rope becoming worn out or breaking with the inspection date left stamped onto the wooden seat of the rope swing giving children and adults/parents an assurance that it is inspected regularly. Parental supervision is recommended for children up to the age of ten. It is important to note that Professional Arboriculture accepts no liability for injury or death caused by accidental or improper use of the rope swing. Be safe and have fun!

The swing is constructed of a high quality marine grade double braided rope connected to a thicker rope sling attached to the main limb. This system prevents excessive wear on the connection point of the main line rope which when inspected is rotated to establish a new connection point. The lower knot above the seat is used to replace worn out or over knotted rope as occasionally the seat is adjusted too high making it difficult for young children to use. The worn out rocky dirt patch underneth the swing appeared shortly after the swing was consructed and is maintained by it's regular use.


Kids have modified the swing by putting wooden steps into the back of the trunk to jump from. They also jump from the top of the rubbish bin, both of which are not recommended as they increase the potential risk of personal injury, unless safely demonstrated by someone else.


Volunteer work for Onslow Kindergarten

Professional Arboriculture has attended several working bees held at Onslow Kindergarten to recognise the hard work and support that the teachers provide to our children. The main objectives were to ensure that all of the trees on the property were safe and free from potential hazards like dead or broken branches, dead or unsafe trees, low branches obstructing access to play areas, trees touching utility lines, etc. Other aspects of the work included obtaining more light into the play area and kindergarten building by thinning and shaping selected trees, reducing overhanging side growth back from the roof to create clearance as well as reduce debris collecting in the gutters. Side growth on neighbouring trees overhanging the boundary was reduced to create clearance/shape crowns. The trees are an extremely important aspect of the environment that the children play and learn in, so it was our absolute pleasure to volunteer our services to Onslow Kindergarten.


Volunteer work for Khandallah Kindergarten

We were approached by Khandallah Kindergarten about offering our services in preparation for their 2012 garden tour fund raiser with a view to enhancing the back 'DELL' area at the kindergarten and other areas in the front garden. The initial stage was to get a team of BNZ volunteers to come in and clear out all of the weeds and also the smaller self-sown natives. Once this work had been completed, we could then come in and assess what trees needed to be pruned back or removed to create even more clear space and light while retaining screening/shelter around the boundary of the dell. All of the pruning material was managed down into the bottom corner were it will quickly rot down, avoiding any additional removal costs. After the work in the back garden was completed, we then turned our attention to other parts of the garden like the trees down the side of the kindy and other specimen trees in the front garden. These were pruned back to improve clearance and improve their individual shapes. We also did a bit of trimming work on the road reserve area just by the front gate to improve the entrance way into the kindergarten.                                   This work took 4 people about 5 hours to complete with a value of approximately $800- that was gladly donated for the benefit of the kindergarten and the community.

Main front garden @ Cashmere Ave School

Casmere Ave School, Khandallah engaged PROARB to remove several very large old Phebalium trees that were planted out into the back of the front garden as a hedge row or shelter belt but had become very untidy and out of context with the predominantly native planting. The branch material was also mulched and spread back onto the garden. Once this stage of paid work was completed, we then started the process of bringing in new smaller native plants to fill in the spaces that had been created in the garden. Self-sown Flax plants and cabbage trees from peoples gardens and spouting were planted out in groups as they make great companion plantings. Some 'designer' plants were purchased then donated that included tri-colour coprosmas, 4 different types of Kowhai trees, alpine broadleaf, Korokias, Astellias, etc that will take a couple of years to establish but will offer points of interest in the garden. Large clumps of Reinga reinga lillies have been sourced from clients gardens and divided up into smaller plants that will eventually clump up and fill out the ground level spaces. There are lots of more established smaller native plants like Hebes, Oleria, Korokia, Totara, Kowhai etc that the school has planted out some   5 years ago that we are regularly trimming back into individual rounded shapes to improve the definition and structure of the garden. This is going to be an ongoing project for PROARB and we are looking forward to being directly involved in the management and development of the garden over the coming years to maximize the full potential of the plants for the benefit of the school and the wider community.

Volunteer work @ Mount Cook School

We were approached by Andrea Maloney who is an established landscape gardener that does garden maintenance for the school and was asked to look a few trees. One of the jobs was to prune off the lowest side branches and lower cut branches on a group of Chinese Elms as they were at a dangerous and obstructive level. The crown lifting and tidying work has made a noticeable difference to the shape and form of the trees and also made it easier for the kids to climb which is encouraged. The second job was to reshape a plum tree by one of the front entrances that had become too big so it was reduced in height to just above the roof height into an overall rounded shape to improve the form and also fruiting.                 This job took around two hours to complete and was offered at No Charge, with compliments from the PROARB team.

Chinese Elms in courtyard area, after crown lifting work

Plum, Before

Plum, After

Donation of Services

Professional Arboriculture donated half a day of labour to Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua for the Poutama coarse(empowerment through knowledge) for their Whakairoa(wood carving). Large totara posts were ripped down/cross cut into useable slabs that had sat in storage for about three years but were too large or the wrong size to be useful. As the materials had been donated, it was appropriate that our services were donated also, in recognition of the taonga(treasure) created using the natural materials provided.



TV One News Report:                                                 Wainuiomata Golf Course calls in a 'tree expert'         hole in one takes new meaning     


The worlds oldest tree:                                                       13,000 year old Palmer's Oak                                         13000-year old tree                                                                                                                   oldest known living organism       

How did that road cone get up there?                             tree climber stumps council 

New Zealand tree climbers best in the world!                   Kiwis-best-in-world-at-climbing-trees 

Advanced industry training for aerial tree rescue;         Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt.  11.05.13                  Dominion Post News; Tree rescue in Upper Hutt 

This station involved lowering and injured climber down from a trunk with no branches to simulate a tree that could be at 30m+ so typically thats done by climbing up to the injured person and putting in a false roping point above them and using a pulley system to lower the patient down either by managing the climbing systems in unison or from a fixed point in the tree off a pulley which turned out to be the most efficient way.
The other two station consisted of large, open branching trees that had different accident scenarios to manage and learning about the different techniques associated with the best possible out come for the injured person was hugely beneficial to everyone who attended the training day with a commitment to have the event every year to continually improve  health & safety and work place practices within the industry.

Wellington City Council Regional tree climbing competition ~2008~        Sponsored by Stihl

The competition was held at the Wellington Botanic Garden on the 4th of October and ran from 8:30am till around 1pm. There where about fifteen competitors that completed the five stations; speed climb, footlock, work climb, throwball and aerial rescue. There was also a station set up for kids which has been very popular over the years. I regularly  judge at the speed climbing station and recorded times  from 15 to 26 seconds 


~Speed Climb~




~Work Climb~




~Aerial Rescue~


 ~Kids Climb~


~Trees vs Power lines~

As tree owners, we have a responsibilty to maintain a minimum approach distance from your trees and the street and service lines. This ensure there are no liability issues with damage caused to lines as a result of the trees being neglected or not properly maintained.

Professional Arboriculture is qualified and experienced in line clearance work, from street lines to the service lines running from dwellings to the power pole. This is extremely hazardous work and careful consideration is required to complete the work safely and effectively without personal injury or damage to property.                                                

vector: trees and your responsibilities

~damage from a branch rubbing on power lines~

 ~Damage from power lines rubbing on a branch~



~Ivy on trees~ 


Ivy is an extremely vigorous and invasive climber. It will quickly establish itself on any available structure ie. trees, power poles, fences, etc. and will eventually smother them. Once ivy is established in trees and shrubs it becomes very problematic. Older ivy plants will develop heavy side branches from the main stems which cause the climber to become very bulky and dense. At this stage low light levels can cause tree health to become significantly compromised.                                                                The most effective way of getting rid of established ivy plants from trees is to cut a section out of their stems at the base of the trunk. This will cause the ivy leaves to shrivel and fall out of the tree. This happens quicker in hot, dry weather. The remaining branches and stems will eventually become dry and brittle and can be easily pulled out of the tree.  It is not advisable to try and remove ivy from trees when it is still green as doing so will unnecessarily break or damage branches in the tree. Ivy should always be discouraged from becoming established in trees and shrubs as the future complications will impact considerably on sunlight levels and optimum tree health. 

Other destructive climbers such as muehlenbeckia, cape/german Ivy, old man's beard, banana passionfruit vine, moth plant, blue morning glory, honeysuckle, etc. will grow up into the lower branches of trees and eventually work their way to the top of the crown where they will cover the canopy and suppress the growth of the host tree, ultimately causing it to die if not effectively controlled. These types of climbers are easily controlled by finding the base of the plant and cutting it at ground level then treating the stump with a herbicide gel to prevent it from regrowing The remaining climber in the tree will eventually die and fall out of the crown. It is not recommended to try and remove the climber when it is green as like ivy it will cause unnecessary damage to the crown of the tree.

The exception to eliminating climbers from within trees and shrubs are plants such as: Wisteria, Clematis, Rose, (more ornamental plants) that tend to co-exsist and compliment each other as long as they are both carefully managed and cared for.


The most effective way of managing ivy in trees is to cut out a section of growth at the base of the trunk. This will cause the ivy leaves to brown-off then completely   die-back.     


After the ivy has been severed at the base, the branches and stems will  eventually become brittle allowing the ivy to be easily removed from the tree. This process will take approximately 1-2 years.



 Manicured lawns at the expense of tree health?

As astonishing as it may seem, people may be damaging or even killing their favourite specimen trees.

I have been working as a qualified Arborist around the Greater Wellington area since the start of 2001 and have noticed a direct link between a finely manicured lawn environment and serious crown die-back in specimen trees and shrubs.

In every case in or near a managed lawn environment, where I have eliminated any other causal factor e.g. salt wind damage, severe compaction/ soil level changes around the root zone etc. resulting in crown die-back, I have found that people have used a selective broadleaf herbicide on their lawns.

The herbicide invariably contains the active ingredient dicamba. Dicamba is the same ingredient found in Woody Weed Killer which is designed to kill diocotyledons or woody plants. When the selective herbicide is applied to the lawn where specimen trees and shrubs have their root zones, it appears that the formulation leaches through the turf layer and is taken up by the fine feeder roots of the trees root system located below the turf.

I have no way of determining whether the damage to the root zone of trees (which is reflected in subsequent crown die-back)is due to over use or improper extra strength application of the selective herbicide, but there is no doubt in my mind that the use of Dicamba based selective herbicides on lawns for broadleaf control is causing serious damage to trees and shrubs that have their root zone within the lawn environment. In every case that I have assessed, there is no other causal factor that would account for the damage.

It may be that some plants are more susceptible to damage than others. Some specimens I have noticed more affected are: ashes, beeches, camellias, rhododendrons, elms, kowhai, oaks, liquidambars, etc.

If you have been using dicamba based selective herbicides on your lawn and you have damaged or unhealthy trees and shrubs within or near the lawn environment, then there are several things you can do.

To avoid the risk of further damaging sensitive feeder roots it is advisable not to use the selective broadleaf herbicide near the trees root system. to assist in restoring damaged root systems, use a garden fork to penetrate through the turf layer within and around the trees drip line. this allows the application of fertilizer to come in direct contact with the tree's damaged root system. To avoid inadvertent damage to the sensitive root system, it is advised that initially a conservative amount of fertilizer is applied. Use a phosphorous rich fertilizer e.g. nitrophoska-blue, blood and bone etc. to stimulate new root growth. During the growing season is the best time to do this.

As an alternative form of turf management where there is not a high concentration of broadleaf, sulphate of ammonia can be applied directly to the centre of the weeds at a concentration of one teaspoon per weed. This stimulates vigorous growth which then causes the weed to collapse and die. This can take approximately two to four days to work.

Another method is to leave the turf at a higher level to encourage a tight, thick thatch. This discourages weeds as light, moisture and soil contact etc. are requirements for germination.

Where crown die-back has occurred to specimen trees and shrubs in or near the lawn environment due to the use of dicamba based selective herbicides, the manufacturer of the product could be contacted, you could express your concerns and request that they investigate the matter further. Alternatively, approach the retailer where the product was purchased and express any concerns you may have.


Severe die-back in a rhododendron near a manicured lawn

This lawn has been managed using a selective broadleaf herbicide to control weeds which is the likely cause of the crown die-back in the rhododendron.  As you can see,the portion of the crown with the roots growing into the patio area to the right is healthy as it is protected from the application of selective broadleaf herbicide. The portion of crown on the left side has died-back because the root system has developed in the lawn environment and has absorbed leached broadleaf herbicide applied in the area. 



Damage to tree roots caused by site development

All to often, trees are not given enough consideration when it comes to site development. Trees are made vulnerable by the fact that they are anchored in one particular place throughout their entire life time. Within this time changes often occur in and around their environment particularly in urban areas. A common example of this would be the establishment of 'hard landscaping' were retaining walls, paths, steps, etc. are constructed within close proximity to trees and in the process, tree roots are damaged. The level of physical damage will determine the response that you would expect to see manifest in the tree's crown by way of branch die-back. There is a direct link between the condition or health of the root system and the health of the crown. For example: If during site constuction, a small amount of small diameter surface roots are cut, say 5-10mm thick @ 5% total damage to the root system, the response from the tree should be negligible but if during site construction several heavy roots are cut, say 100-150mm @ 45% total damage to the root system, then the response would be far more severe. To give you an idea, the roots that have been cut are supporting branches in the crown of an at least equivalent diameter, so the rule is that if a 100mm root is cut then it is likely that a branch in the crown of a similar diameter will die-back. And so, the level of damage to the root system is directly related to the level of die-back you would expect to see in the crown. Unfortunately it usually takes at least  two years for damage to manifest in the crown. This means that the tree will appear to be unaffected by any construction damage, no matter how severe until the inevitable degeneration process is complete.                     For example: a 1.5m high retaining wall is constructed 1m away from the trunk of a tree with a diameter of approximately 750mm. Several heavy roots had to be cut to construct the retaining wall. For the first year the tree will appear to be unaffected by the construction which will give the impression the tree is happy and healthy. After a couple of years, several large branches have started to appear in the crown and lots of epicormic shoot growth has formed on the trunk and branches. This is a common response to this level of root damage. Often the tree owner will say "why is my tree so unhealthy?" at which point the comment will be made if it is not obvious, "have you had any construction work done around the tree in the last year or two?" This presents an opportunity to explain the relationship between the tree roots and the crown exsisting in a dynamic ballance. The recommendation for construction work around trees should be that the least possible amount of damage should be done to the root system. If following a prescribed plan of construction would make an unacceptable level of damage to the tree inevitable, then the owner needs to assess the value of the tree to them and if necessary change the construction plan to accommodate the long term health of the tree.


Here is a clear example of substantial damage to a cherry tree's root system that will have detrimental affects on the tree health in the years to come. Once a retaining wall is put in place, it will conceal the damage and in far too many cases it is a matter of out of sight, out of mind.


This is the same Cherry tree showing the new retaing wall. Trees will sustain this level of damage initially but within a couple of years they will be showing signs of decline/deadwood and epicormic shoot growth due to the roots being cut. In severe cases death may occur. 

Related Information: Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction



Tree Houses in Central Park, NYC.                               National Geographic, May 1993                                                                                                            

For some people the night time park offers an opportunity to keep dreams alive. Bob Redman, 27, was born to climb. At age 5 he shinnied to the top of lamposts. At 13 he began building tree houses in Central Park. One had five rooms spread over five levels. Redman has Hollywood good looks: blue eyes, brown hair, a muscular body, and a shy manner. He and I wander among the trees that were once his home-away-from-home. "I'd sleep in the park, go home for breakfast, and then to school. My mother was worried until I brought her into the park one afternoon and showed her my trees. She saw that no one could climb up after me. "His older brother Bill often came to play conga drums up in the trees, which generated stories that mysterious tribes of tree dwellers inhabited the park.                  Redman would camouflage his house with green paint. When leaves fell off the trees, park officials would tear down Redman's creations. They spent eight years looking for him. Then in 1985 maintenance workers noticed a tree house near an equipment storage lot and called the police. Redman and a friend were in the tree house sleeping.                                   When the officials saw how Redman scampered up trees, they hired him as a tree pruner but made him promise not to build anymore tree houses. He now owns his own tree maintenance business. "I was nuts about trees," he says, patting the tall Pin Oak that soars about 60 feet above us. "I had 2 houses in it. "Central Park is a perpetually unfinished portrait, changed by everyone who enters. With his tree houses Redman kept alive a part of childhood - the tree climber's exhilarating aloneness - that most of us abandon while we are still quite young. It saddens me to hear that he is reluctant to climb without safety equipment. "I don't like to take risks," Redman says. "I have a business to worry about."                                Central Park has 26,000 trees, the largest concentration in the 132 acre woodland that dominates the upper park. Neil Calvanese, a former hemodialysis technician who learned to climb at age 31, has risen to cheif horticulturalist. He takes me on a tour. "This type of area is common in the park," he says, as we get out of his truck. "It's severely disturbed." A few small trees grow. Above them tower larger trees. Otherwise the ground is barren. Calvanese cradles a seedling. His fingers gently examine tiny leaves. "This poor little Oak is struggling," he says. "It needs help." He points to the large trees, innocuous-looking Acer pseudoplatanus, or Sycamore Maples. "They're nasty," Calvanese says. "They were brought in from Europe in the 1700s and 1800s and have been used primarily as street trees. They're destroying the woodlands because they produce dense shade. Nothing grows under them, which causes erosion. This is the future for the area unless we get rid of them and replace them with native trees like red maple, suger maple, black locust, sweet birch and river birch. "The area looks very wild. "will it be self-sustaining?" I ask. "That would be nice, but this is a managed park. That means not giving it over to whatever happens to grow. It'll always need attention from professionals. "To remove unwanted trees with a diameter of three inches or less, you use a weed wrench - a steel pole, about shoulder high, with a vise at its base. You grasp the trunk of the tree with the vise and twist up. I try this on one of the sycamore maples. The roots pop out. It feels satisfying but wrong. I consider myself an ally of trees. "Are you sure it's all right?" I ask Calvanese. He tells me to keep yanking.

Almost all money for the tree maintenance comes from the Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that has raised nearly a hundred million dollars since its founding in 1980. The conservancy has doubled the number of park employees, provides education programs, and deserves much of the credit for graffiti removal, new lighting, restoration, and other improvements. Working with community groups, the Conservancy has focused much effort and money on Central Park's northernmost regions, many of which - in accordance with the parks original design - are secluded woods.

Central Park N.Y.C.



  ~Interesting tree photos~ 


Agave americana                                                                   Century Plant                           

Native to Mexico, agaves make a spectacular feature plant providing they are given enough space as they will grow to a size of 2m x2m and have vicious toothed margins with a needle point. It takes about 10-20 years, in some cases up to 40 years, before the plant will produce a huge branching flower stem that grows to a height of 7m (20ft). After flowering, the main plant will die-back to a series of new offsets that form around the base of the plant to create a ring of new plants.

  Mature agaves flowering on Oriental Parade



Tree stakes or stake trees?

Staking is a useful way of establishing young, tall trees on exposed sites but they need to be removed after a year or two when the tree is stable enough in the ground. This can be tested on young trees by moving the trunk, back and forth to see if there is movement in the ground around the base of the tree.  If this is the case, the tree roots haven't fully developed/anchored into the soil and the tree will require continued support to prevent it from falling over. If the soil is soft at the base of the tree, the soil can be 'heeled in' around the trunk and root ball to compact the soil and improve stability. At this stage, the tree will probably require another year before the stake can be removed. Generally, young trees will establish firmly into the ground in one to two years so the tree stakes should be removed as soon as possible to encourage the trees to develop their own supporting root systems.  


~Chainsaw Carvings by PROARB~

Cryptomeria, West Auckland

English Oak, Johnsonville



~Drainage pipe in old Weeping Elm~

This method was used to drain water from cavities before there was a clear understanding of tree science. These older methods ie. drainage pipes, concrete in cavities, pruning paste, are no longer used as they are counter productive to the trees natural process of sealing off/compartmentalizing injury sites.