TREE TIPS & NEWS
Spring & Summer Tree Tips
Not only have New Zealand’s Tui been described as one of the seven best songsters in the world, they are key pollinators for many native plants and important seed dispersers for native trees such as kowhai. Sadly, Tui disappeared from Banks Peninsula about 20 years ago due to a variety of reasons including habitat loss, introduced predators and possibly disease. The last birds to be seen in any number were around Akaroa. Only one or two birds have been reported since then.
The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, in partnership with local hapu is working to restore the Tui to Banks Peninsula. The plan has support from the Department of Conservation, Lincoln University, and the Christchurch City Council. To flourish, Tui need trees, flowers, and insects. Tui are keen nectar feeders. This food is more than 70% of their diet at peak time of the year. Fruits and insects are also important. Ecologist Hugh Wilson, of Hinewai, has confirmed there is now enough year-round food available on Banks Peninsula for Tui. This guide for planting can help you attract Tui to your own property.
What you can do to help:
- Provide good habitat – regeneration mixed hardwood forest, protected from grazing animals, offers good nesting territories nectar and fruit sources and insect prey.
- Gardens may help significantly with Tui tucker, as Tui are known to travel a long way to good nectar sources at the right time of year.
- Use locally sourced native plants – great not only for Tui but for restoration.
- Remove predators and grazers – priorities for removal are:
- goats, deer, cattle, sheep and pigs
- ship rats and possums
- cats and stoats
- Report Tui sightings to the BPCT coordinator or enter into the NZ Biodiversity Recording System (www.nzbrn.org.nz).
Tui Top Six Plants
Kowhai, Mountain Flax, Cabbage Tree, Mountain Five Finger, NZ Ngaio & Tree Fuschia
Call us on 344-6223 if you wish us to source any of these trees on your behalf.