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Treescape Gives CUE Haven a New Look—11 January, 2013

January 12, 2013

At CUE Haven we spend most of our time planting trees, so you might be surprised to hear that today four great guys from Treescape helped us cut down four trees.

Yes.  Because we are turning CUE Haven into a native New Zealand forest, we have to be careful of non-native trees which might have established themselves over the years.  These trees, known as “exotics” can be a problem because they often compete and overpower New Zealand native trees.  It might sound funny to call a poplar tree “exotic,” but in NZ it is and it’s one of the more difficult exotics to deal with.

Poplars spread by sending out root runners which is why they often are seen growing in a line—and were often used on farms to create windbreaks.  We had a couple of lines of poplars that had grown up over the years.  Some we are keeping for a while because they are away from the bush restoration area and provide shade and privacy for the cottage.  But some were in the wrong place and causing difficulties.  We ring barked them last summer and all but one had died and today a team from Treescape came out to cut down the trees and chop them up into mulch.

Treescape logo

Treescape was started 30 years ago by two enthusiastic young New Zealanders – Edward Chignell and Brandon Whiddett, who started their working lives with two chainsaws and a VW Beetle.   Today Treescape employs more than 250 trained staff and operates throughout New Zealand and in Australia providing a range of services in vegetation management.

Treescape has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and has been a long-time supporter of the CUE Haven Restoration project.

The Treescape team from the Warkworth Depot arrived today at about nine and consisted of Eddy, Mark, Jacques and Owen.


First they tackled the live tree at the end of the driveway.  It has been sending out runners along the fence line and competing with some of our native plantings at the front of the property.


Mark went up in the bucket and cut off the branches and the rest of the team cleared up the debris.


It didn’t take long for the tree to start to disappear:




The team cut part of the stump into 4 blocks so that we can use them for stools for visitors to rest on along the walking track.  Jacques, using the digger like a surgeon, brought them up closer to the cottage:


The remaining three trees were all dead and were also smaller.  One fit into the chipper with one go.  Owen and Eddy cut the base and Jacques manoeuvred it into position:




In the meantime, Mark and Eddy went to work on the biggest of the dead trees.


Mark would cut off the big branches:


And Eddy would cut them into smaller pieces:



Once most of the branches were off, the team prepared to take the trunk down.  The tree was leaning over the fence into the wetlands and right over the stream so the team had to make sure it fell away from the stream and onto the road.

They tied a long rope to the trunk and the other end to Jacques’s digger.


Owen then cut a big wedge out of the trunk:


Jacques then backed up the digger and the tree fell.  Very loudly!



The team then cut up the trunk and mulched it.


It was fascinating watching the Treescape team work with such precision and always with safety in mind.

It’s going to take some getting used to the front gate without the tree, but it won’t be long before New Zealand native trees will be filling in the space:



We’d like to thank Treescape’s Ed Chignell (CEO), Bryson Middleton (Northern Area Manager) and Paul Cook (Warkworth Depot Manager) for their continued support of the restoration work at CUE Haven.

And we especially want to thank Mark, Eddy, Jacques and Owen for all their hard work on a hot, humid day.  They were all very friendly, professional and helpful.

We look forward to seeing you all back for a more leisurely visit.


Thanks Treescape!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2013 10:19 am

    Great job on the Poplars, they are so unpredictable, can blow over, pieces can snap off,
    I am sure better things will happen in their place. TREESCAPE are as you have seen are a very “switched on ” Company

  2. René Aukens permalink
    January 12, 2013 3:29 pm

    Great improvement Mahrukh and Tom! As you say: it will need some adjusting to the poplar gone at the entrance, but soon we will forget about it……..René

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