14 New NATIVE STREET TREES for the North



There are really only 8 native species in regular use as street trees in the north, (both in NZTA projects and in residential developments) and regrettably fewer still as we move South.


  1. Karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus)
  2. Kauri (Agathis australis)
  3. Kowhai (Sophora spp)
  4. Pohutukawa (both Metrosideros excelsa , and other selections. Of the selections, Maori Princess is the most popular, Vibrance has a following)
  5. Puriri (Vitex lucens)
  6. Ti Kouka –(Cordyline australis)
  7. Titoki (Alectryon excelsus)
  8. Totara (Podocarpus totara)


The range sometimes extends to another 5 —

  1. Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydoides)
  2. Kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile)
  3. Rewarewa (Knightia excelsa)
  4. Rimu (Dacramedium cupressinum)
  5. Taraire (Beilschmiedia tarairi)


(takana has good supplies of all the above species)


On the premise that NZ wishes to emphasise the wonderful heritage of our biodiversity in today’s plantings, and be able to reduce our dependence on exotic species, we need to be striving to expand the trees specified, and use additional examples from our native range.


A key reason the range is not expanding is the chicken and egg scenario whereby commercial big tree nurseries do not grow other species as they are not specified, and the Designers do not because they are not commercially available.


Over recent years takana has experimented with a number of additional native trees which might work in street situations. As a result of our studies and field tests we now make the following recommendations:-


New Recommendations — a range of 14 interesting and attractive upright natives hardy, well suited to northern street tree conditions, able to stand dry summers, wind, salt and some rough treatment.

(These need to be grown in the supplier nursery specifically for Street Tree usage, i.e. single leader to 1.5m, upright, 2-3m height, well rooted in the bag.)


  1. Coastal Maire (Nestegis apetala) Northern coastal, mid size wavy leaf, very hardy, attractive colour, red berries.
  2. Chatham Islands Ake Ake (Olearia traversorium) From Chathams, upright form, multi leader, hardy, small foliage very like Olives, fast growth, tall tree in Chathams.
  3. Ewekuri (Streblus banksii) North Island small tree, attractive colour small foliage, hardy, small yellow berries.
  4. Manatu (Plagianthis regius) Found nationwide, fast growth, elegant, upright, small foliage.
  5. Maire Tawhake (Syzygium maire)North Island upright medium size, small red-green foliage, small white flowers, red berries. Like Kahikatea, accepts damp conditions but also hardy in normal ground.
  6. Oro Oro (Nestegis montana)North Island, upright, hardy, willowy foliage, red berries.
  7. Porokaiwhiri (Hedycarya arborea) Upright medium size tree, hardy, medium leaf, large orange berries in bunches.
  8. Putaputaweta (Carpodetus serratus)Upright nationwide tree, hardy, branches laterally like Beech, divaricated, small marbled foliage, small black berries.
  9. Pukatea (Laurelia novae zealandiae) Nationwide upright tree, medium growth rate, attractive small foliage, like kahikatea, accepts damp conditions but also hardy in normal ground.
  10. Rata (M robusta)(different forms exist so selection to meet specs is important) North Island upright tree, hardy, slow but eventually tall, crimson flowers.
  11. Tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa) North Island upright big tree, hardy, attractive willowy foliage, large purple berries.
  12. Tawapou (Planchonella costata syn Pouteria costata) Upright medium size northern coastal tree, attractive medium size foliage, spectacular large berries turn from green to orange then red and mahogany
  13. Tanekaha (Phyllocladus trichomanoides)Graceful upright North Island conifer, hardy, attractive foliage, needs staking as juvenile.
  14. Tawhero (Weinmannia silvicola) Northern brother of Kamahi. Medium size, hardy, spreading, medium leaf, prolific flower racemes.


Takana has these 14 species available in volume at mature stage in big bag sizes (45L and usually 160L)


Check the Photo links showing how these trees look at mature stages in rows.