Willow removal

Willows are a group of introduced tree species which that were brought to New Zealand in the early 1800s and widely planted for bank stability. Since then, willows have replaced native wetland and river-bank vegetation in many places.

If well managed, or the right species, willows can contribute to bank stability and offer positive benefits to wildlife. However, in the wrong place, willows can block streams causing flooding, and scour stream banks.

Willows and bridge


The rules

There are rules which may apply to the removal of willows from in and around rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

What rules apply will depend on where the willow is located and the method you use to remove them.

Please check the rules if you are planning to remove willow from:

  • within the bed of rivers or lakes
  • along the bank of rivers or lakes
  • within a wetland or
  • within a 10m setback from a wetland

If you are unsure if your activity requires resource consent, please get in touch with us by emailing consent.enquiries@orc.govt.nz or call 0800 474 082.

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