The Residential Red Zone (RRZ) contains thousands of fabulous tree and shrub specimens, both exotic, and native species and cultivars that were once part of former residents gardens, and now could become the backbone of an Avon-Otakaro Forest Park (AOFP).
Although AOFP appreciate the number of magnificent exotic trees that are in the RRZ, our main focus is the nuture of the native plants in the area.
As a group AOFP, have managed to secure, and have fenced through negotiations with CERA, and now through LINZ, a number of sites that have ecological significance. Through volunteer involvement AOFP now maintain 10 sites of varying sizes. These sites are being maintained through working bees, with some weedy species being removed to allow young native seedlings to develop.
480 Avonside Drive
This is a small site that is easily maintained, that contains the noble tree species Totara and Rimu, both those fruit will be a great food source for birds. In addition to these two trees there are the more common species of Whiteywood and Red matipo, both being great producers of flowers with nectar and then fruit.
560 Avonside Drive
This is another smaller site with a large Red beech tree, several Cabbage tree specimens, and numerous Pittosporum tenuifolium (both species and cultivars) that are great trees for nectar and fruits (or seeds) for birds.
91/93 Cowlishaw Street
This very small and odd shaped site contains a number of good-sized canopy trees, with several large Black beech, Cabbage trees, Kowhai, Lancewood and other Pseudopanax cultivars, several Pittosporum species and cultivars. Along with all these plants it contains an enormous specimen of lowland Ribbonwood that has produced thousands upon thousands of seedlings post-earthquake. It is larger than the ones planted in Linwood Park over 50 years ago.
29 Dallington Terrace
This small site is probably the best of all the sites, and harbours a splendid native planting that was previously someones front yard. It has a fabulous canopy of Totara, Red Beech, Akiraho, Rewarewa, Broadleaf, Kowhai, Karaka, Pittosporum species and cultivars, along with Kahikatea and most strikingly two large specimens of Hinau that are possibly even larger than the only remaining natural trees in Christchurch, that are found in Riccarton Bush, where it is rare. There are very few records of Hinau on Banks Peninsula, with no existing specimens to found present day. Under all these trees there are New Zealand myrtle, Peudopanax cultivars, Hebes, and windgrass, as well as young seedlings of a number of the other species already on this site.
58 Keller Street
This tiny site that was the street frontage at this address contains Totara, Five finger, Cabbage trees, Kowhai, Wineberry, shining Karamu, Lemonwoods and flax, as well as a few other species very close by. All these plants in a very small area make this a great food source for birds.
219 New Brighton Road
This site has large canopy-sized European lime trees and other deciduous exotic specimens, including a very large European beech which has CCC protection status. There are also several significant native species including Mountain beech and kowhai that have been planted on the periphery.
223 River Road
On this site, at the rear of what was a large property there is a splendid native planting which is probably another of AOFP’s best sites. This small but very diverse patch of native bush has a large varied canopy of several large Red and Black beech, Lacebarks, Kowhai, Pittosporum, Totara and Karaka, with a lower canopy and understory of Five finger, lancewood, lenwood, wineberry, kahikatea, matai and kauri. There are also hebe and flax along its edge. The previous owners of the property had planted these trees from seedlings that they had collected when away on family holidays.
363 River Road
There are a number of trees at smaller site, with a number of exotic species, but also contains a lot of Pittosporums, and Cabbage tree seedlings that have appeared post-earthquake. One significant native tree is the large weeping Totara.
377 River Road
This site with a number of exotic species and fruit trees, including pears and plums is also split into a couple of areas. It has numerous native seedlings coming up under the canopy, but also includes larger specimens of Kanuka, Red beech, Pittosporum species and cultivars, Kowhai, Cabbage trees, Karamu, New Zealand myrtle, Kauri, Hebes and Flax. Also nearby are Ake ake, Akiraho, Corokia, and Titoki, as well as NZ iris and windgrass.