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Newsletters & Annual Reports

13th November 2020


2020, WHAT A YEAR! Massive COVID-19 disruption, rapid membership growth, major planting projects and accordingly more maintenance commitments. Our normal autumnal planting program was severely curtailed by the COVID-19 lockdown, as a result boredom led to much creative individual activity, leading to our building upgrade and new layout in the nursery shed. Paramount to our need was to remove the potting mix from our” morning tea” zone, which has led to the very impressive “McCombs Rooms’ structure. Who would have thought that our potting mix zone could be rapidly consumed by morning tea tables.

Individuals desperate for action prompted the start of our new Swale project, a large area (adjacent to the motorway) enabling excellent social distancing while planting which, along with maintenance work, required on site morning teas, a hark back to the past when morning teas were taken in the field. COVID-19 and Lockdown could not deter the enthusiasm and exuberance of our members, WELL DONE TO YOU ALL.

Highlights of the Year:

• Completion of the Shed upgrade

• New Glasshouse (funded by the Frances Skeet Trust)

• Park seating (Maples and Oaks installed • McCombs Rooms (Potting Mix stowage).

• Karapiro planting project completed, (around the Canoe Center).

• Meadow walk 1 replanting.

• New Swale extension started.

• Pump Park (Camellia and shade Trees planted).

• Leamington Cemetery Camellia planting

• Thursday Group guffawing!

• Upgrade of Website and implementation of Facebook presence.

• Nursery Production. New Year Projects:

• Waikato River (Settlers Track) Plantings.

• Swale Extension plantings (800m long)

• Pump Park stage 2.

• Waipuke Park

Our cordial relationship with the Waipa District Council Parks and Reserve Team is ensuring ongoing planting schemes, which enables forward planning for the nursery team. A huge thank you to all our members for your selfless enthusiasm and commitment to Tree Trust (even wet days musters are massive). Our sound financial situation reflects the generosity of our community and enables us to continue with all our planned projects. Special thanks to our hard-working committee and planting team, who have led the way to a very satisfying and successful year.

Many thanks to you all.

Eric Todd



Chairman's Report, 2019.

Congratulations and thanks to you all for having survived a rather chaotic year under a very green chairman,

Firstly, I must thank Conny for the massive amount of work that she undertakes on our behalf as Secretary.

Thanks to Joan for an equally large workload raising funds, running the nursery and keeping us all fed and watered.

Thanks also to the Moodies- Jane for her inspirational articles on trees, and John for attempting to guide me through the Chairman's duties; and for time spent revising our Constitution.

Thanks to Greg, our Treaurer, for his patience and diligence,

Lastly, thank you all for your support and hard work throughout the year.

After a number of years of intensive planting, our focus for 2019 has had to be on the maintenance of our 26 existing projects. However, we have still managed to complete a number of plantings.

The  Resthaven scheme has been finished after 4 years of development. This year saw 690 plants go into the Moon Spring project and the gardens below the villas.

At Karapiro, The National Canoe Centre plantings were begun, with Stages 1 & 2 completed, and Stage 3 to be prepared and planted in the New Year.

Payne Park bush extension has had more infil planting and is beginning to mature. 

Smaller schemes include the Thornton Club, Leamington Park railway tunnel, Riverview infill and a small garden at a local preschool.

We had two very successful days supporting climate change awareness, which gave us much positive publicity, as did our involvement in the award to Cambridge as the Most Beatiful Large Town in NZ.

Ongoing maintenance on large projects such as the Oak Arboretum, Meadow Walk, the Maple Arboretum and Lola Sicock Park have been challenging but rewarding. Many thanks go to Neville for his huge input.

Special mention must be made of the Thursday maintenance team. Their hard labour has transformed the Rimu and Kahikatea groves, and their laughter will echo around Cambridge for some time.

Plans for the coming year are under discussion and will possibly include infil planting of the swale in Brian Mayo Park. Further additions to the swale depend on out discussions with Council. Karapiro Stage 3 will be completed, and improvements to our base structures are being considered. Park seats will be installed in the Oak and Maple Arboreta. This work is made possible by our sound financial position.

Many thanks to you all.

Eric Todd,



Once again the Tree Trust has made outstanding progress. Our weekly volunteer membership is very strong and a delightful challenge occurs each Tuesday in trying to find sufficient tasks to keep the core of some 25 or more passionate volunteers busy. While we haven’t planted as many trees, shrubs and grasses this year, nudging just over 3000, we have taken on the task of clearing weeds on many of our former projects that Waipa District Council parks and reserves staff have not been able to keep tidy. A regular smaller group of volunteers now meet each Thursday morning and their task has largely become maintenance on WDC reserves around town. Next year I turn 80 and health challenges this year have lessened my work input. As a life member and having been a member since the Trust’s inception in 1992 I’ve done my bit and hence a new chairman is required.

There were many highlights in this year of consolidation and this lists some of them.

The Lola Silcock Park project is now in its 12th year and the tireless work here of Jan and Eric Todd in clearing weeds, spraying and mulching and planting has got to be commended. A wet winter has resulted in drainage issues in some areas that WDC will have to address. Jan and Eric modified some of our early planting, and this winter much new and infill planting was undertaken As with all our projects, ongoing maintenance is needed. Parts of this park look a picture and annual grants from the George Marshal Trust have helped with costs here and his passing earlier this year is noted.

The Meadow Walk project is now in its seventh year and the Waikato River Trust is featuring our work here in their annual report and magazine as an effective example of how their funding, in two grants of more than $50,000, has been successful. Their report is here:

John and Jane Moodie have been superb with their passionate work here, and they have driven the well planned wet land development of MW5. We have undertaken much planting here in gumboots, and after spraying and mulching, this area is looking superb. After considerable pressure from us the WDC agreed that the Meadow Walk track needed upgrading and they undertook this task at some expense and now we have a very driveable all weather track.

The popular Lake Te Ko Utu is also proving a planting challenge, especially on steep sections. The weed growth here creates a dilemma, and with assistance from St Peters environment group some work has been done here. The proximity of the Camellia Walk to the Lakewood development and its potential encroachment is being closely monitored. The Lions grant of $2500 to purchase specimen trees for planting the steep bank at the lake must be progressed in 2019. The work of Jan and Eric Todd on Blackie’s Bank is superb, and that area is looking great.

In the nursery a group led by Bruce McComb has made ongoing improvements and we now have masses of sharpened stakes to support trees we plant in 2018 and beyond. Bruce has produced a new wheeled potting table and the regular Jumble Around grant helped defray our nursery expenses..Jan Todd, with her nursery experience has reorganised the plant naming and layout. With botanist Joan providing her germinating and cutting expertise, a large proportion of our plants are being produced at no costs other than voluntary passion and labour.

Very useful additions to the nursery have been the lockable cupboards for storage. a cold frame which came via Joan and was expertly crafted 2 by Roger Dean. The expertise and abilities of our large group of volunteers is a real strength of our organization.

The Oak Arboretum is complete and attracts much favourable comment. The addition of the Lovelock Oak sapling requires an explanatory panel in the future. Neville is IC weeds and pruning and his work here is outstanding. and much appreciated by the public and by us.

 The Maple Arboretum is an ongoing project where the Community Board have provided some assistance, funding us for the purchase of maples and labeling materials. The first plantings here three years ago are starting to make a statement. Infill planting, spraying and mulching continues and we are lucky to have the support of Mainly Maples, as this project continues. The planning and work on this project is a credit to the passion and drive of the Todds, Moodies and Neville. Much public praise has resulted.

 Payne Park has been retired from grazing and considerable work has been undertaken here to remove privet and gorse and get all the steep faces sprayed, mulched and intensively planted by our teams. Over 1000 plants have so far been located here. WDC has constructed a new track through this park and it now links with the main Te Awa track. The whole area is now mown by Council. Work here will provide us with challenges in the next few years.

 Resthaven work is also ongoing. We received a $15,000 grant from the Bill and Joan Flower Trust with the proviso that it been spent in the Resthaven area. The new track to open up the Moon Spring has now been finished and this has opened up a large area for new planting. We have so far given Resthaven some 500 native plants which a resident of Resthaven has planted. I attended a key meeting of Resthaven Trust members and walked the new track and commented that our trust could undertake considerable work there with the assistance of the Flower grant. Jan, Jane and I have reviewed the plantings we have done there so far, and a 2019 plan is being drawn up to continue our work there. A key meeting with WDC is being held soon to propose a link to the Moon Spring track and enable public access. This whole area is an exciting project to be involved with, and will keep us busy for a few years.

 Roger Dean and his team have been working for the last few years on the establishment of a Bluebell Dell in Anns Patch. Annually more bulbs are being added and the spring flowering display there is well worth a walk.

Under the guidance of Lesley MacDonald, the Thursday group planted some flowering cherries from Amber Nursery in Blackie’s Reserve. This initially was met with objections from some neighbors but was resolved with Community Board support. More recently all the groups of trees Blackie planted in this reserve have, with considerable effort, been thinned, pruned and weeded.

 David Phillipps with the guidance of Chris Twemlow, an IT expert from All Things Web of Hamilton, has been working assiduously on our website and built up an ongoing history of our work. The website is being refined with regular updates. It is now very professional and that is gaining us much kudos

I compliment the small team that have met with WDC staff re protecting large trees of Cambridge. We are now considered to be an important participant in the process

 Our planning for 2019 needs to be undertaken with the new management team, with the required plants accessed and being potted on. Our list of planting projects for next year will ensure we are kept busy.

Financially we are in a very sound position and credit here must go to Greg Liddy and our grants expert Joan McCathie, Donations regularly roll in as our public profile is strong and the work we have done around town greatly appreciated. Grants and support has been received from many sources.. We need to place on record the growing cooperation and support which we have received from the Waipa District Council and its staff in this last year. I thank Mitre 10 for the continued support of our monthly article in the Cambridge News which Jane Moodie researches and writes. A special thanks also to Hogans accountants for their continued support

An appeal to incoming management. Revamp and update the constitution, continue to write up the history of the trust and I offer to do this. Continue to work with passion and friendship as a total team to improve the parks, reserves and trees of Cambridge.

  Don Willoughby,






Once again 2017 has been an outstanding year for the Cambridge Tree Trust in which there were many highlights. Our core group of more than 20 volunteers meets each Tuesday. A feature of our current group of volunteers has been their passion, enthusiasm and the wide ranging skills they bring to Tree Trust work. We continue to make a huge difference to the Cambridge landscape as this year we have planted in excess of 6,000 plants mostly natives.

2017 has been a year of consolidation of current projects and a slight change in emphasis as maintenance has become a key component of our work. As we have been so successful in developing new areas of reserve land into attractive areas of new plantings the staff of Waipa District Council have been stretched to keep on top of weed growth. Hence our annual workload has changed a little and an increasing amount of our time is spent on spraying weed control and pruning. The addition of a small Thursday work group led by Eric and JanTodd has helped in coping with our increased workload

There were many highlights in 2017 and this lists some of them.


Over the summer months we have continued to be busy and it has been surprising the number who have turned up each Tuesday to undertake a few hours of volunteer work. To have 27 volunteers arrive on a February hot summer’s day provided me with a challenge in terms of what jobs to allocate and what locations to concentrate on.

Weed maintenance on our various project areas has been the main challenge and with regular rainfall bursts during spring and early summer the weed growth has been alarming.

Hence weekly teams have been sent out on weeding assignment; a necessary but boring task and more selective than spraying. Neville Hollands has taken on caring for the Oak Arboretum. He has Waipa District Council approval for this task with weekly assistance from Tree Trust volunteers and he weeds, prunes and gathers up broken branches and keeps this whole area looking ship shape. Brian “Blackie” Mayo would be delighted that the Tree Trust 2003 planting of oaks there that he worked so hard for is today a very well used recreational park that looks a picture. The Oak Arboretum site for the Armistice Day sculpture which is being prepared for November next year was blessed on February 10 when 30 Le Quesnoy visitors were present. It was a cultural highlight with local iwi, French and local residents sharing a mix of languages.

Our first Tuesday of this year saw a dozen volunteers work in summer rain and dig in 22 naming posts here. John Moodie had prepared the tanalised posts and Jane had worked with WDC arborist Chris Brocklebank to correctly name each group of oaks. We thank the Cambridge Community Board for their grant to cover our costs in this naming process.


This year we celebrated our 25th year and it has once again been an outstanding year of progress. 2016 has been a very successful year for the Cambridge Tree Trust and our membership is strong and increasing. A core of more than 20 volunteers meets each Tuesday and a record attendance of 30 in early October certainly means we have the capacity to achieve much constructive work on reserves around town. We have certainly made a difference to the Cambridge landscape this year by planting out more than 6,000 plants mostly natives. A major 2016 achievement was being awarded the annual Trust Bank Heritage and Environment award for Waipa Borough County. Rather than tackle new projects 2016 was a year of consolidation and maintenance of existing projects areas. In fact maintenance of our various projects has become a major summer task.

There were many highlights in 2016 and this lists some of them.

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