New avenue of trees takes shape

9 March 2015

As part of the Victoria Street transformation, we have started installing big pits for the new trees which will soon line both sides of the street.

Construction worker installing the recycled plastic framing in one of the 55 new tree pits that are being constructed as part of the Victoria Street upgrade.

One of the 55 new tree pits being installed in Victoria Street


We’re putting in wide footpaths on either side between Dixon and Abel Smith streets and will plant about 55 Italian alder trees in a few months’ time.

Victoria Street is one of the areas of the city where many more people will be living, studying and working in future so we’re making improvements that will help transform the neighbourhood and make it a more appealing place to pass through and spend time.

The makeover includes a southbound cycle lane and two new paved parks – one near the intersection of Vivian Street and the other at Volunteer Corner adjacent to Dixon Street.  

The street trees we’re planting are hardy, fast growing and deciduous ­– so will lose their leaves and let light through in winter, and provide leafy shade in summer.

They will be about two metres high when planted and, with the help of the large tree pits, will grow quickly and reach a maximum of about 15 metres high within 20 years.

The 11 cubic metre pits are larger than most in Wellington City and being filled with good quality top soil and lots of compost to help get the trees off to a good start. Each one contains about 25 standard trailer loads of earth.

The pits contain layers of recycled plastic cells that keep the soil loose for good root growth and help support and protect the footpath above.  A permeable liner surrounds the plastic structure to keep the soil in. This system also helps protect essential underground services like water and electricity from root damage. 

The old raised garden beds, along with several large trees that were growing in them, have been removed to create space for wider footpaths. The remaining large elms, including the big one at Volunteer Corner at the intersection of Dixon and Victoria streets, will be part of the new-look street.

Exciting things are planned for the area including the redevelopment of a large site fronting Cuba, Dixon and Victoria streets that will include a new Whitireia and WelTec campus for more than 1000 students.  

Work on a new nine-storey apartment building at the intersection of Abel Smith Street has started and planning is well advanced for several other residential complexes, including a high-rise apartment building adjacent to St Peter’s Church.

We’re keen to see more growth in this area and hope our upgrade work – which began in November and should be complete by July – will encourage other landowners and developers to invest here.

For more information about the upgrade work, go to: Victoria Street transformation project

For information on parking options and lane closures, go to: Parking during construction