News | 1 November 2021
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Pōhutukawa to be relocated for new playground

Specialist contractors are relocating four Pōhutukawa trees to different spots in Frank Kitts Park to make space for the new playground construction getting underway in January.

Pōhutukawa in Frank Kitts Park to be relocated for new playground

Relocation work is starting today (Monday 1 November) and is expected to take five days to complete (weather permitting).


Tree relocation is a complex and intricate process, and success ultimately depends on the quality of the root system, and the size and moveability of the roots depends on the nature of the soil they’ve been in. 


The trees are all located near the existing playground. Three of the four trees are being immediately relocated to different spots in the park. The fourth one will be temporarily stored onsite until it can be lifted into its final location in the play area, where it will provide instant shade. A fifth tree is being removed and will be turned into mulch as it is not suitable for transplanting. 


Parts of Frank Kitts Park will be fenced off during the work for health and safety reasons for the public – and the trees. Traffic and parking won’t be impacted by the work. 

What does the process of relocation look like? 

  • We will carefully excavate around the tree to expose the root system ready for pruning.
  • We will prune the roots to create a ‘rootball’ big enough to ensure the tree survives once relocated.
  • The root ball with be contained using specialist lifting frames, strops and chains.
  • The root ball will then be undercut to sever any roots under the rootball.
  • The whole tree, including the rootball will then be lifted from those specialist frames using a crane.
  • The tree is then either placed in its new position or onto a truck to be moved to its new position, then lifted of the truck again with the crane.
  • The tree is then put in the pre-excavated hole in its new location.
  • Once correctly positioned all the lifting frames, chains and strops are removed.
  • The trees will be mulched and irrigated.
  • The trees will be monitored, soil moisture levels checked, and the mulch kept topped up until the they’re are established in their new location.
  • Watch a video of how the process works here.