Become a part of Bushtown's living Tōtara forest legacy

Help grow Bushtown's Totara forest by planting your own Podocarpus Totara as a commemorative event - an ideal way to celebrate a family member, group or special occasion.


Our special Tōtara tree planting events are a core fundraising component for the ongoing development of Bushtown Heritage Site.

We would be delighted to welcome you to become one of our valued Tōtara Tree Donors. ​

Typically a Tōtara Tree lives for over 800 years, and our growing Tōtara forest at Bushtown exists thanks to the generosity of the many donors to date. 

Tōtara tree plantings are arranged throughout the year and to date over 150 trees have been planted by many families, individuals, corporate organisations, schools and trees have been donated in recognition of celebrated New Zealanders. 


What does becoming a Tōtara Tree Donor include?

When you become a Tōtara Tree Donor a tree planting ceremony is organised by our Bushtown Committee, who arrange everything for the event for you - sourcing the local Tōtara Seedling, registration process for your planting date and time, and liaison with you and any invited guests to attend your ceremony.

(Often it is common for our wonderful Donors to invite a group of guests such as family/friends to mark the occasion and this is welcomed as part of your special event!)

Each individual Tōtara Tree planted is uniquely identified by its own tree number, GPS position and stainless steel engraved plaque. As a Tōtara Tree Donor we liaise with you to arrange appropriate wording to be included on the plaque engraving. Our Donor's often provide a short phrase and name to be included on the plaque as a dedication for the tree. 

What happens on the day of the planting?

You and your guests are met onsite and greeted by members of our Bushtown Committee, and welcomed on site with a pre-planting overview of Bushtown, before proceeding to the prepared planting site.

A proclamation dedicated to the Tōtara planting is read aloud to mark the occasion. This is followed by the planting of the tree and a series of photographs are taken to record the event. A stainless steel engraved plaque will be positioned beside the tree in perpetuity. Ongoing care of your tree is undertaken by Bushtown.

After the planting ceremony has concluded, you and your guests are invited on a guided tour of the Bushtown forest walk, followed by refreshments in our Otaio Church Hall. 
We recommend allowing between an hour to an hour and a half for your Tōtara Tree planting ceremony.

After the planting, what happens next?

After your planting ceremony day has concluded, your framed certificate to commemorate the event will be forwarded to you. 

Each Tōtara planted carries a Life Membership with it

As one of our valued Tōtara Tree Donors this includes a Life Membership, and we would love to see you return for our annual Spring Open Day (held for Tōtara Tree Donors, members, sponsors and volunteers). 

Click here to become on of our valued Tōtara Tree Donors

What does a Life Membership include?

Each Tōtara Tree planted carries one Life Membership with it. 

This can be transferred to a nominated person at any time, our Bushtown Committee are on hand to assist you with this process if required

This grants complimentary entry to Bushtown for guided tours, with a discounted entrance price for any of your accompanying guests. This is a perfect opportunity to view your tree. 

You will also receive an invitation to attend Bushtown's annual Spring Open Day (held for Tōtara Tree Donors, members, sponsors and volunteers usually held late September). 


Each Tōtara Tree Donor planting is valued at NZD$550  

This includes:

  • Tōtara Tree
  • Planting ceremony onsite
  • Engraved Plaque
  • Certificate and Photograph
  • Copy of tree planting proclamation
  • Site tour and refreshments
  • One Life Membership 
    • Complimentary entry to Bushtown for guided tours, with a discounted entrance price for any of your accompanying guests on guided tours
    • Invitation to attend Bushtown's annual Spring Open Day
    • Personalised Email newsletter


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Thank you for your enquiry about planting a Tōtara tree at Bushtown! One of our committee members will be in touch with you to discuss your tree planting


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