New Zealanders committed to planting 14,784 native trees for Arbor Day yesterday, the most on record for tree planting in New Zealand on a given day.
The count was undertaken by Trees That Count, an ambitious campaign which aims to inspire and unite New Zealanders to plant 4.7 million native trees in 2017, that’s one tree for every New Zealander.
Funded by The Tindall Foundation, and delivered by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation, Trees That Count is empowering New Zealanders to invest in our native environment at a time where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent.
Native planting efforts were recorded up the down the country, bringing people together from a range of cultures, both young and old says Trees That Count Project Director, Tanya Hart.
“That’s the fantastic thing about Arbor Day - a day that has been recognised in New Zealand for over 125 years - it’s all about inclusiveness and working together for a greater purpose. It’s a day that Trees That Count wants to revive and firmly embed back into our national consciousness.”
“It is hugely encouraging to see what a great effort the New Zealand public put in on Arbor Day. It really brings home how much we as a nation value nature and shows our willingness to pitch in and work together for a worthy cause. We have now set the bar so that we can try to supersede that for future Arbor Day plantings.”
Held in conjunction with World Environment Day on 5 June, Arbor Day represents more than planting a tree - it’s a day to take stock of where our local environment is heading, providing an opportunity to raise awareness and promote action.
“To date New Zealanders have donated, pledged and planted over 2 million trees for 2017 with Trees That Count. It’s great progress but we need to keep up this momentum to reach our target of 4.7 million this year. Just because Arbor Day is finished it doesn’t mean people can’t still plant, so get involved and help us reach our target for 2017. Pledge to plant a tree, register a planting project or gift or donate a native tree at www.treesthatcount.co.nz. Our website also contains useful information about the types of trees to plant and planting advice,” adds Ms Hart.
*A note to planting groups regarding myrtle rust.
Anyone planning on planting any native trees this year needs to be aware of the risk of myrtle rust.
Myrtle rust can have serious consequences for various species of plants in the myrtle family, including New Zealand native plants such as: pōhutukawa, ramarama, rata, rōhutu, mānuka, swamp maire, kānuka. Introduced plants including, feijoa, eucalypts and bottle brushes are also susceptible.
People living in affected regions (New Plymouth, Waitara, Kerikeri or Te Kuiti) are asked not to plant species susceptible to myrtle rust. Trees That Count asks planters to be aware of myrtle rust, and follow all guidelines from MPI. Further detail can be found at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/myrtle-rust