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Walks & Parks

This is a new planting alongside the Brian Mayo Reserve. It is on land used for cropping hay and silage, and is designed to link up with the rimu and totara groves. Unlike them, it incorporates a variety of species, including grasses. There is a suburban power y line running above the land, and we have to plant low-growing species under it.

A good deal of effort went into the planning. The team was led by Jane Moodie, and she and her team spent many hours over their kitchen tables laying out planting schemes before settling on the one being used. 

Today's effort, 5th July 2022, was just the start.

Comes the beginning of August, and we have the chance, in between showers, to finish the job, or at least stage 1. Jane already has her eye on stage 2. The ground is very soft after all the rain, so we could take only a light truck near the site. The metalled track is on the other side of the swale.

Lake Karapiro has been the home of high-performance rowing for decades. Recently, canoeing has built a facility there and waka ama and triathletes use the facilities as well. The yacht club also has new premises. Earthworks for the new buildings involved left a bank which is too steep for safe mowing, so we were asked to plant it. This we did, over a couple of Tuesday mornings, with more to come when the additional area is cleared. Maintenance will be by the facility's ground staff, and will be mostly done by mulching the areas.


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The canoeists building is fairly recent, and there are some banks which are difficult or even impossible to mow. We have been asked to plant them in an attempt to suppress weed growth. The job has grown since we started, like the plants. We have to plant small plants to maintain the view of the lake and the activity on it during events.

This railway is in the Leamington Domain, which is a large area of flat grass on the corner of Wordsworth and Scott streets. It has a 2-storey heritage band rotunda, but its real claim to fame is the miniature railway run by the Cambridge-Rotorua Live Steamers. This video shows the opening day, 1.12.2012.

Check the website below for dates, times and fares.

Cambridge Model Engineering Society

This isn't anything to do with the Tree Trustl. It's just a nice community facility that we're happy to publicise.

In 2019, the Steamers put in a tunnel to add interest to the ride. We gave them some plants to cover it.


This little park was used for grazing sheep until September 2016, so all we did was plant a few trees there. Now the sheep have gone and Waipa District Council is opening it up for the public to use. It adjoins the Resthaven retirement village, and will be a useful adjunct to their land. Some of it has been planted in daffodils, and those the sheep left have multiplied, though they're a bit scrappy at the moment. There are two good displays though. One inside the roadside fence and one is outside it, by the road.

Arbor Day 1998 marked the planting of Daffodils around the town. With support from Council and Tree Trust Volunteers a number of areas were planted out around town at this time. Hamilton Road on the main approach to Cambridge and the eastern approaches to the town, by the Karapiro Stream Bridge.

Other plantings have been made from time to time, as CTT members go around the town and find a suitable place for bulbs.  There are on-going problems with mowing, but the daffodils seem to survive.

Payne Park's daffodils.

Other photos show the park as it is at 23.9.2016, before work starts on its development.


Cyclone Dovi 

On 13th February, 2022, Cyclone Dovi blew through Cambridge wreaking havoc on the town's trees. Our plantings were not exempt, and here are some photos of the work we did cleaning up the debris. It was well concealed from the road, and escaped the Council contractor's attention. We did the job in less than an hour.

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This project arose because the new Waikato Expressway cut off a large piece of land which had been used for grazing. The Waipa District Council incorporated it into the adjoining Brian Mayo Reserve, and one of our members, Jane Moodie, came up with the idea of a maple arboretum similar to the older oak arboretum nearby. The Council's Parks Dept. approved, so areas were marked out, sprayed to clear, and mulched. Jane, with Jan Todd, then set about selecting plants for stage 1.

In the winter of 2015, we planted the first section. We put rabbit protection around the saplings and staked them. They're growing well.

There is a long stretch of parkland between the road and the houses which we have developed along the same lines. We will have to be careful here, as the trees are much closer to the houses. In stage 1, we have graded the trees, with the smaller ones closest to the houses, and we have left large spaces between plantings for ease of mowing with a tractor-mounted mower.

We have to acknowledge gifts of posts from Mitre 10 and stainless steel plates for labels from Cambridge Sheet Metals. Engraving was done by a company in Te Rapa at a very favourable price.

The Community Board approved a $1000 grant for this project which enabled us to launch the project with minimal cost to the Trust. We are very grateful for their support.
There is potential for this project to be extended as reserve land on the western edge of the expressway is further developed by the Waipa Council.
There could be a number of years future planting here for us. 2016 saw more maples planted here, and 2017 has been devoted to mulching the large areas the trees are growing in. They have been put into their permanent places, so there is a lot of space between them at this early stage.

Here are some photos of the early plantings.

11 January, 2022. Blitzkrieg!

This summer, 2021/22, has been one from the pages of history- hot, sweltering and, with carbon dioxide at 400+ parts per million, ideal for growing plants. That includes weeds. Some of the little stands of maples in the Maple Arboretum have become overgrown with weeds, particularly the ones where the neighbours don't like spray. We've had to hand-weed two such stands, and here are some pictures of one of them, before and after a dozen of us descended on it and carted away 2 truckloads of weeds.
It was done at some cost to ourselves. None of us are under 70, and those of us with heart trouble had to take rests during the two-hour session. We survived though.
We took the weeds to Greenscapes and lost the concrete blocks off the back of the truck when the loader driver got a bit enthusiastic in pushing the load off the truck. Putting them back was heavy work, and we'll probably take them off and let the truck's traction take its chances. Otherwise there is a good chance that we will need an ambulance. We over-estimated our ability this time.
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Tuesday April 19th 2022.

We found some more weeds. We thought we'd done this job earlier, but the weeds thought not, so we had to come back. A dozen of us pulled out 3 truckloads in 2 hours. We surprised even ourselves. We are going to show some of these photos to Council staff, who are doubtful of our ability.

While we were doing this weeding, we noticed 3 areas where the trees had not thrived and nor had the rengarenga planted under them. We knew that the soil in those places was of poor quality, but hoped it was good enough. It wasnt. We have some thinking to do. The site is beside the Waikato Expressway, and anything could have been put there during the roadbuilding.

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The idea came from two Cambridge women who made a casual comment to our Chairman, Don Willoughby, that it would be nice to have a loop track around the end of the hill where bluegums had been felled, and leading up to the level ground at the top.

This was a lot harder to do than it looked. The higher ground is very steep, and needed stairs. Water run-off is a problem too. There is a depression at the top which collects a lot of rainwater and sends it down a channel in the soft sandy hillside. It wasn't impossible, though, and provides a nice short walk with views of the lake and some of the countryside. Eventually, when the trees grow, it will be a bush walk. The red lines in the photos are our markers.

By August 2021, the depression mentioned above had been largely filled in by Lakewood's developer. The trees on the opposite side of the fill have grown very well, and the run-off that sent water cascading down the hillside just after our first planting in 2015 has been closed off by the developer's fill. The plants there are large now, and will probably hold firm.