Police are appealing for the public's help after the theft of 45 bonsai trees from a property in Mount Albert, last Sunday and into Monday.
For decades the owner of the miniature trees has lovingly sculpted, nurtured and cared for the trees, police said in a statement today.
Acting Detective Sergeant Thomas Malcolm from the Auckland West police district said: "This should be compared to the loss of irreplaceable art and involves a man's life-long commitment to their care.
"This situation has caused a significant amount of distress for the man and his family."
He said the bonsai trees must be "out there somewhere" in the community and police wanted any information that could lead to the trees being returned to their owner.
Anyone with information can call police on 105, and quote file number 211122/3956.