Most people we talk to in and around Hamilton don’t even realise that we have native bats in New Zealand, let alone in the heart of the city.
Hamilton and the Waipa is lucky to be one of only a few areas in New Zealand with a resident population of long-tailed bats. The long-tailed bat is unique to New Zealand and, together with the short-tailed bat, is New Zealand’s only remaining native land mammal. The long-tailed bat is currently classed as ‘nationally critical’.
We can install a bot box and predator protection band in a bat friendly tree on your property. Our specialist knowledge and expertise of bats roost installation will ensure that the box is in the best place to help our only native mammals.
Don’t have a property that suited but still want to help? You can fund/donate a bat box in a bat friendly reserve, picked out by an ecologist. Your bat box will be numbered and be put on the map on our website. You will also receive a certificate of your donations and will be listed on our web site hall of fame.
Take a look at this information leaflet we’ve made for more information about our native bats and where they live.
Both pictures show an artificial bat roost (bat box) and predator band above and below.
Bat box installation
Fund/Donate a bat box
BATS! YES, BATS!
WEED TREE MANAGEMENT
We have experience in dealing with many different species of weed trees in a variety of locations.
Whilst it is almost impossible to eradicate weed species permanently, the correct techniques for removal, followed by replanting and/or monitoring for re-emergence can help maintain control over pest trees.
We can assist with controlling species such as: Crack Willow, Pussy Willow, Hawthorn, Silver Poplar, Wooly Nightshade, Privet (Chinese & common), Wattle, Tasmanian Blackwood, Japanese Walnut, Tree of Heaven and plenty more!
We always focus on ways to retain native trees, plants and habitat around the weed trees – we can employ a number of approaches to minimise our impact on the environment.
We also encourage our clients to retain portions of the weed trees for use as potential habitat (see our section below on ‘Tree Veteranisation’.)
ABOVE: Carefully removing some large Pussy Willow trees from amoungst regenerating native bush
Using a zipline technique to remove the crown of a Tasmanian Blackwood without damaging Kanuka trees surrounding it.
Even weed trees have their uses. In areas where it is safe to do so (away from structures and pathways etc) we aim to leave the stem of a tree standing, in order to provide years of valuable nutrients for insects, and shelter for birds and bats.
The process of tree veteranisation essentially means that a younger, healthy tree is damaged in a way that mimics natural events such as, branch failures, hollowing due to decay, bark peeling off etc.
As part of tree veteranisation we can carve out bat or bird boxes. These have been shown to have better insulation properties than plywood boxes which are often erected in living trees. These type of habitats usually only exist in older declining trees, hence the term ‘veteran’.
This process of veteranising a stem is usually done once the canopy is removed from a tree – meaning that the veteranised tree stays standing longer. Most weed trees will need to be poisoned in order to make sure they don’t continue to grow and produce seeds. Cuts and carved hollows aid to speed up decay, encouraging insects, providing a food source and help to creating shelter. Even the bark peeling away as the tree decomposes can provide a roost for a bat! Over years the stem will break down and return to the soil – it is less common for them to topple over.
Up high, carving of the top of a stem to mimic a natural break. This increased surface area speeds up decay, attracting insects in a short space of time.
TREE HABITAT INSPECTIONS
During land clearing/development projects, often it is a requirement to make sure the trees to be removed are not currently occupied by bats. As they are nocturnal, they often aren’t able to fly away when a tree is felled, meaning they can be killed or injured.
Working with an ecologist, we can help provide inspections by scaling trees, looking for places where bats may roost, or using a hand held bat detector and reporting our findings.
Large old trees provide the best habitats, and these are often difficult to access.
We use modern tree climbing techniques which allow us to enter the canopies of very large trees.
One of the most important aspects of conserving our environment is planting and the restoration of areas which have been cleared or invaded by exotic trees. We have the experience and knowledge to assist with your planting projects, from the initial planning and management of weeds, through to planting and aftercare. We can even use rope access techniques to work on steep sites safely. It is important to consider the type of site, soil, tree species to plant as well as the time of year to schedule the work, in order to achieve long term success in forest restoration.
In this Hamilton gully, we are assisting our client with the long term management of trees. The gully is currently covered by a canopy of large Robinia trees (weed species). The weed trees provide good shelter which helps encourage the growth of the natives we wanted to eventually replace them with. We pruned the Robinia trees to remove a few hazardous branches, and create a little bit more light on the forest floor. Then we planted the steep site with a selection of native trees. Some fast growing, short lived species provide quick cover to suppress weeds such as grasses. Slower growing, long lived species will eventually take over, and in around 10 years the Robinia trees can be ‘veteranised’ and the restoration project will be mostly complete.
Treelands volunteering for Arbor day planting with the Hamilton City Council