I'm looking at buying a house. There's a belt of trees on the south-west side, which is inside the property boundary but outside the fence.

The local council has a covenant on the property that says the trees are not to be removed ever but does permit periodic trimming, so its a glorified hedge.


What trees are these, and how could they impact my new home in the future? Do they drop leaves all year long and block up guttering?

  • The area is known for cold antarctic winds from the south and southwest so this line of trees is a good thing for wind reduction.
  • Latitude is around 43.6 south and an elevation of about 50 metres.
  • Its in the South Island of New Zealand, in Canterbury.
  • Trees are definitely evergreens not deciduous.
  • Snow is rare but not impossible. These trees will have survived at least three snowfalls in 2010 (and none since)
  • There appears to be a "dead" core visible in the aerial photo - Trees are definitely more than 9 years old and probably 15-30 years old.

enter image description here

2009 2009 photo showing a recent cut/prune

enter image description here 2009 growth

enter image description here 2012 growth

All imagery is from Google maps or streetview and their licence applies.

Branch tip, around 20 cm long piece Woody branch cross section

Update The local Council has them listed as Macrocarpa trees.


These seem to be a cultivar of Chamaecyparis or Cuprocyparis.

They are conifer trees used for hedges and sheltering , especially orchards and for noise protection(I see there’s a road there).

They will not affect your plot at all. Except for the shade they will provide. The soil around them will become ericaceous and if you plan to put any plants there, you will need to confirm that with a soil test.

The brown part is just poor trimming and/or natural shedding. looks quite bad but it’s no big deal and the tree should regenerate just fine.

You can’t stop nature dropping leaves or needles here and there. So some may fall in guttering but the tree’s habit means they shed needles throughout the year and also grow through the year with a stronger growth in spring. The drop of needles is barely noticeable.

  • Definitely Chamaecyparis. – user33232 Jun 16 '18 at 10:50
  • That pruning job is horrible. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 16 '18 at 15:07
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    @WayfaringStranger quite possibly one of the worst I’ve seen! – user33232 Jun 16 '18 at 16:32
  • @WayfaringStranger yeah - looks like one of those truck/tractor mounted oversized lawnmower blades. The legal situation is weird - those trees are on the home properties not on the roadside, and the home owner cannot remove them says the council, but must pay for trimming them. – Criggie Jun 17 '18 at 4:21
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    @Criggie A 3 foot stump is technically a trimmed tree, and in this case would be an aesthetic improvement. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 17 '18 at 14:17

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