Latest news from Arrowtown Choppers

The Arrowtown Choppers are a group of volunteers who took on the challenge to get rid of wilding conifers on the hills above Arrowtown. In recent years, as wilding removal moved from hand cutting and pulling of seedlings to contractors felling mature trees and spraying with a helicopter, the emphasis has shifted to replanting with native shrubs and trees.

While volunteer chops are continuing every Thursday between 6pm and 8pm, we're coming up to the autumn planting season. Important dates for the next few months:

15 February: Scouts – Wilding Pine removal above Bush Creek

22 February (2 days): Contractor – Removal of a small area of crack willow behind the Chinese Village toilets. Removal has been approved by QLDC, funding provided by the Arrowtown Choppers. The site will be prepared with mulch so that 2000 trees can be planted in Spring 2023.

14 March: Cubs – Planting at Bush Creek

27 March: Keas - Planting at Bush Creek

29 March: Scouts - Planting at Bush Creek

2 April (9am–1pm): Arrowtown Beech Party. This represents an amazing milestone of over 10,000 trees planted on and around the Sawpit Gully Track.

Arrowtown Choppers report

Work continues to remove seedlings from the April 2023 Beech Party planting location, this should be completed in the next week or so.

Over the next year we will concentrate our efforts on Zone 2 (Bush Creek Face) and Zone 3 (Eichardts Flat), map details here.

All seedlings in the area can either be pulled by hand or removed with loppers.

We are seeing a lot of seedling regrowth in areas where coning trees were felled 2 to 3 years ago. The good news is that these coning trees are no longer spreading seed further into the back-country. This seedling regrowth will be removed over the next 1 to 2 years through a number of methods, e.g. hand pulling, lopping, boom spray and lancing. We have up to about 5 years to address this seedling regrowth before the trees start coning, as long as we get to them before they cone, then we are winning the war on the wildings. If you see any areas of concerns please feel free to email us at:

Beech Party update

October 2021: Survival rate has dropped (60–70%) over the last month as we are seeing the trees affected (particularly the ones adjacent to the track) by the lack of rain. Trees off the track have an excellent survival rate.

April 2022: Survival rate is still strong at 70–80%, we have noticed that trees have struggled in areas facing directly north (too hot and dry). We will look at planting kowhai in these areas going forward.

October 2022: Excellent survival rate (95%+), may be due to being adjacent to the remnant stand of beech.

April 2023: We will be planting 3000 native trees, and all holes will be pre-dug. We are super lucky to have a huge number of generous sponsors: Trees that Count, The Stephenson Fund, ORC EcoFund, Postmasters Kitchen + Bar, New Zealand Trails, HeliBike NZ, HeliGlenorchy, Arrowtown Village Association, Arrowtown Promotions and Business Association, Utility, The Confluence, Rationale, Benje Patterson, Bayley’s Arrowtown (Holly, Todd & Michael), Arrowfield Apartments, Arrowtown Bakery, Arrowtown Butchery, Print Central, Patagonia, The Fork and Tap, Arrowtown Wine Store, The Winery, Four Square Arrowtown, APT Design.

Arrowtown Nursery

Tewa Banks development has started, we have a meeting with the project managers in March to discuss the nursery timeframes.

More exciting news to come on this in the next couple of months!

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