Fruit trees are soon to fill empty public spaces and berms around Waiheke.
The Love Our Fruit Trees Waiheke Project will see 385 fruit trees branching out in public spaces. Organisers are also calling on residents who would like fruit trees in their neighbourhood to sign up. People are also invited to join the project as a tree guardian.
Tree guardians will commit to care for the fruit trees on their berm or a public location.
“As a guardian you will be supplied with free fruit trees, stakes and mulch,” says project manager Holly Taylor.
“Guardians will be supported with expert knowledge from Ewen Sutherland at a pruning workshop in June. The project is an opportunity to be involved in creating spaces that can be enjoyed for generations.”
All trees have been sourced locally and grown here on Waiheke. Varieties include apple, plum, pear, guava, fig, banana and feijoas. Help is available for making the most appropriate selection for a site.
A suitable site is one that can accommodate the tree as it matures and that will not obscure pedestrian or driver visibility, says Miss Taylor.
“Also look out for overhead power lines.”
This is the third time the Love Our Fruit Trees Waiheke Project has been delivered on Waiheke. Home Grown Waiheke Trust rolled out the initiative four years ago in Blackpool.
At the end of the most recent project, almost 1000 fruit trees will have been planted around the island in public places.
Managed by Waiheke Resources Trust, and funded by the Waiheke Local Board, the “fruitful community project” was launched today at Surfdale Hall.
Anyone who is interested is invited to go any time between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the project, choose some trees and to sample home-made fruit crumbles made from community fruit topped with cream.
In late June or early July, when local expert Ewen Sutherland demonstrates how to prune fruit trees at the Surfdale Food Forest, he will also include tree care and how to care for your tools.
For more information, contact, phone 020 410 30872 or visit • Mark Peters

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online