Ngaio Pupils Protect Trees

2 September 2013

Pupils and parents joined forces on Saturday (31 August) in a planting bee to protect and enhance Ngaio School’s native forest area, so it can remain a place to play and learn.

Ngaio pupils with native plants.

Pupils from Ngaio School's Bush Builders group

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The aim is to save the mature ‘kaumatua’ trees in the school grounds. The arboretum contains kauri, totara, rewarewa, kaikawaka (NZ cedar), ti kouka, hard beech - all more than 70 years old. They’re at risk from soil compaction around their roots. Planting around these trees will ease the root pressure and make the area bushier, with places for native wildlife and more food for birds.

Park Ranger Matt Robertson says the area in the north-west of the school grounds contains fine examples of maturing native trees, uncommon in Ngaio.

Naomi O’Connor of the Ngaio School Environment Group says the arboretum offers a fantastic forest zone to the school and its community. Working with the Council’s park rangers, Wellington design company Isthmus and local restoration groups, the school fenced off ‘magic circles’ around the most important trees, and planted 500 native plants grown by Wellington City Council’s Berhampore Nursery. The Council also provided mulch and technical advice.