Heaven Contracting - Specialist Tree Services in Auckland

Pohutukawa Tree Pruning And Maintenance Advice

There are few trees more iconic in Auckland – and indeed New Zealand – than the beautiful Pohutukawa tree. Affectionately known as the Kiwi Christmas tree, this floral beauty is featured on festive greeting cards that are sent around the world. Flowering between November and January, the Pohutukawa tree bursts into a brilliant crimson display just in time for Christmas and lingers as a sensational sight and scent for the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months.

While its full bloom is a sight to behold, the Pohutukawa tree is also known for being an ancient, slow-growing tree. Its towering size and impressive root system need caring for throughout the year, with tree pruning, shaping and other Pohutukawa tree maintenance helping it thrive.

Pohutukawa Tree Beside an Auckland Beach


Even if you aren’t growing one yourself, you’ve probably seen a Pohutukawa tree before. They’re a hallmark of the New Zealand summer, an icon of the festive season and even a main feature on the Auckland City Council Logo.

Here are some other interesting facts about the Kiwi Christmas tree:

  • The generic name for the Pohutukawa comes from the words “heartwood” and “iron”, likely referring to its brilliant red flowers
  • Its natural curves made it perfect for ship building by the Maori people
  • Possibly the largest of its kind in New Zealand, a giant Pohutukawa tree resides in Te Araroa – it stands at 20 metres tall and its foliage spreads our 38 metres wide
  • Versatile and vigorous, the Pohutukawa has found a home in Sydney, California, San Francisco and many parts of South Africa
  • The Kiwi Christmas tree has also found a special home in A Coruña, a Spanish city that adopted the tree as its floral emblem


While there are several varieties in and around Auckland, Pohutukawa trees are usually known for their size, their root systems, and of course, their summer bloom. To enjoy a vibrant display every summer, it’s important to prune, lift and shape the canopy as required. Thinning out these trees thoughtfully can promote healthy growth, control the root system, maintain a stable structure and promote a bigger, brighter, better summer bloom.

Pohutukawa trees are also at risk from local possums and a type of fungus, so caretakers should also look out for eaten leaves and flowers, as well as yellow discolouration on new buds.

For complete maintenance services for Pohutukawa trees on private, public, commercial or residential properties, talk to Heaven Contracting. Call us on 021 061 3296 or visit our contact page to find your nearest Heaven Contracting team.