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All educational facilities with school boards in New Zealand are required to maintain their trees to prevent them from becoming a hazard to students, teachers, and neighbours. However, with a wide range of maintenance requirements, including the complexities of protected trees, it’s not always easy to know what you should be doing as a school board.
If you’re on a school board in New Zealand, here’s what you may need to know about tree maintenance in your school.
Regular Tree Maintenance is Necessary
One of the most critical pieces of information to be aware of is that regular tree maintenance is necessary. As any tree care professional like Pro Climb will also tell you, good practice tree maintenance and management equal safer trees and less work.
It’s easy to assume that tree maintenance is only necessary once a tree matures, but it can begin almost as soon as the tree is planted. If a young tree is pruned correctly, it can develop into a mature tree requiring minimal maintenance.
While healthy, mature trees may require less maintenance than unhealthy ones, they still need care. Trees require regular trimming, and if left to grow without structure, they can become costly for your school to maintain and challenging to remove. Unkept trees or trees without the correct management can also become hazards in high winds while affecting neighbouring properties and blocking light.
You may also see the value in tree maintenance from a health and safety perspective, especially around swimming pools. Trees and their roots must be managed around pools to reduce the cost of maintenance, particularly relating to leaves and branches falling in and roots growing underneath the pool’s structure.
Essentially, trees that are poorly maintained or not maintained can cause damage or become an unsafe hazard. Preventative maintenance can ensure any potential issues are identified and rectified, rather than waiting for the worst to happen.
Care Must Be Taken With Protected Trees
You generally must take a careful approach with protected trees, which is why it’s always an excellent idea to hire tree care professionals for assistance.
Always check to see if a tree is protected, and this information may be available through Heritage New Zealand or your local council. Many trees in New Zealand are protected as naturally established with botanical, cultural, or historical value. They may also be protected on a certificate of title, which means resource consent may be required for activities involving the tree or near it, such as excavating, digging, and depositing.
While you are unlikely to require resource consent for trimming, general maintenance, and removing dead branches, there’s no harm in checking to be sure. Fortunately, when you outsource this task to professionals, they think of everything.
You May Be Eligible for a Property Maintenance Grant
Is your school aware of a Property Maintenance Grant (PMG) you might be eligible for to cover maintenance work on trees? A PMG through the Ministry of Education may help you cover the costs of tree trimming, removal of dead branches, and even removal of a protected tree with council consent if required.
Call the Experts
As much as you may like to keep services in-house, tree maintenance is something that can require expert assistance.
Tree care experts like Pro Climb can provide comprehensive tree maintenance and care services for your peace of mind. They can look for cracks and splits in trees and their branches, seek out dead branches that pose a health and safety risk, and even identify dead, declining, and deformed trees.
Best of all, they can ensure your tree budget is being effectively used to manage your tree assets and ensure they’re prepared for severe weather events.
How to Take Care of Trees in Schools
The average school board has a lot on their plate, and the last thing they likely have time for is dealing with tree maintenance. Taking care of trees in schools can be as simple as aligning yourself with an expert like Pro Climb. Tree care experts can take care of everything from collecting tree data and creating a tree management budget for your school through to developing and implementing a tree maintenance schedule. Everything is taken care of for you, which means all you have to do is enjoy the beautiful trees you’re fortunate enough to have on school grounds.