Watch: Twin pōhutukawa lifted back to their roots on waterfront street

Two 40-year-old pōhutukawa have been returned to their original home on Quay St, Auckland, in overnight crane-lift.

In the dead of night the massive trees were delivered to the waterfront site and carefully lifted by crane into their new positions.

The trees had spent their first 40 years on the well-known strip before they were removed for preservation so the areas could be redeveloped.

One tree was repositioned on Quay St and the other nearby in the city’s new Te Wānanga waterfront space.

The two trees, along with five others, have spent the past year being cared for at Teal Park on Tamaki Drive.

The trees were looked after by a dedicated team of Auckland Council arborists whose role is to nurture and enhance the 415,000 mature trees that form Auckland’s growing urban ngahere.

Mayor Phil Goff says Te Wānanga will provide a beautiful new public space on Auckland’s waterfront when it opens.

“I’m pleased to see these two large trees return and once again provide shade from the sun and much-needed greenery in our city centre.

“Trees make our city a more pleasant place to live and visit and studies show they have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of the community.”

The move was overseen by Auckland Council senior adviser urban forest, Howell Davies.

Davies said the mature pōhutukawa would attract birds, in particular tui, to the area.

The trees were among the hundreds of new trees planned for public spaces around Tāmaki Makaurau.

Davies said the council had “over a million seedlings in our reserves to increase the urban ngahere, capture our emissions, help reduce stormwater runoff, encourage biodiversity and provide habitat to bring new birdlife into the city”.

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