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Trees

back to the original Trees page.


This is the new trees page, which will eventually replace the previous one as soon as I can arrange enough photographs so as not to miss any of the species hinted at in the original page.

On this farm are many stands of ancient trees, mostly along the river banks and in gullies which were, fortunately, never cleared from the land by its earlier occupants.  There are also several reserve areas in the locality, the largest being the Herekino Forest behind us, vast areas of which remain as they ever were.

On this page are:


Kahikatea - Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
Kahikatea

Kahikatea are plentiful around the farm.  Their seedlings can be found in great numbers under any of the Puriri trees, the seeds having been previously eaten and then excreted by birds.
The berries appear in autumn, in some seasons brightly colouring the trees, so that they suddenly stand out from the surrounding bush.
The bark of young trees is horizontally banded as shown below.

Kahikatea berries, autumn the strikingly coloured bark of the Kahikatea

There is a stand of Kahikatea in a swampy area near one of the streams on the farm, where the trees grow extremely close together.  There are also a couple of more mature clumps of the trees in drier places, where the cattle happily gather for shelter.  Unlike many other native species, the trees seem unaffected by the proximity of the livestock, the foliage only being lightly grazed by the cattle from below.


Puawhananga - Clematis - Clematis paniculata
Clematis Clematis
Clematis is a vine, growing up other trees.  It is generally unnoticeable until it flowers in the spring, when a splash of white can be seen for a great distance, wherever there is a large plant.

Pukatea - Laurelia novae-zelandiae
Pukatea tree Pukatea trunk Pukatea leaves

There are a number of Pukatea on and around the farm, their foliage stands out boldly when one becomes familiar with it.  This one grows entwined with a Totara, as can be seen in the middle photograph, the Pukatea trunk on the left.


Puriri - Vitex lucens
Puriri tree Puriri tree
Puriri tree

The most notable tree on the farm is the Puriri.  They stand both alone in paddocks, where presumably they were left because the wood is so hard to work, that it was never milled, and in stands of bush anywhere such areas remain.

The photograph on the left above, shows the canopy of about four trees together in a clump on a river-bank.  Mature Puriri can host dozens of other plants, mostly Kahakaha (perching lily) but also Rata, Puka and any number of smaller epiphytes.

We suspect, from counting rings in parts of fallen trees, that most of them are over 300 years old and I would think many are significantly older than that, particularly in more protected stands, amongst other trees.  In the open, in paddocks where cattle can access them, many have sustained significant damage, both to their roots as earth is eroded from around them and they suffer damage from trampling,

but more significantly from having their bark stripped.  There is one huge tree, now dead, which has been killed by that process.  It is something I had not been particularly aware of until recently and we are working to prevent the continuation of that sort of animal damage by fencing trees into stock-free areas when we realign paddocks, but there are still a number of trees in the middle of paddocks which need individual protection.  That is a costly process in time and materials.  If you'd like a permanent memorial to your name in a small corner of the world, contact us to sponsor just such a tree.


Rimu - Dacrydium cupressinum
There are lots of immature Rimu on the farm, but they seem to hide (as opposed to some trees which "shout out" their presence) in the bushes, only visible if one really looks for them.  Any mature Rimu would presumably have been milled when the farm was cleared.
The leaves in the picture are of the juvenile form, which lasts for many years, before the tree matures.  There are mature Rimu in the Maungataniwha Range, of which I mean to take some photographs.
Rimu leaves, juvenile

Tataramoa - Bush Lawyer - Rubus cissoides
Bush Lawyer is common around the farm.  This variety grows mostly up high in the trees, climbing from the ground with stems up to 10cm thick.  If one finds it, it is usually with pain!  The leaves and stems have very sharp hooks which grab clothing and skin and cause one to have to stop and unhook very carefully.  There are a number of different Bush Lawyers around the farm, some with smaller leaves and stems which grow closer to the ground.  I have become used to spotting them before they catch me - it's well worth it! Bush Lawyer leaves

Ti Kouka - Cabbage Tree - Cordyline australis
Cabbage Tree

Ti Kauka grow from seed all over the place, but only survive in places where the cattle and sheep cannot get to them.

There has been some concern over the last few years about the widespread deaths of these trees, but ours mostly seem very healthy.


Titoki - Alectryon excelsus

I originally thought this tree was Towai, which grow all around the farm, particularly along the river banks.  This tree's trunk leans at an alarming angle, but it seems quite healthy, with its striking new foliage in early spring (this picture taken in early September 2003).

The area pictured was fenced off from stock access in 2001.

During 2010 I began to discover Titoki around the farm, mature trees I'd not noticed before, often amongst Puriri.  I have still not seen any of them with their characteristic red seed capsules.  My trees books describe Titoki as a small tree up to 10m tall, but several of ours are larger than that.  They are very handsome trees.

Towai

Tutu - Coriaria arborea
Tutu

Tutu is a very untidy-looking plant, but has beautiful leaves.  It grows everywhere in our area, appearing along the riverbanks where we know it wasn't previously growing - I presume pieces of it wash down from the bush upstream and take root.  We remove it when we find it, since it is poisonous and will kill cattle (although I have seen cows eat bits of it and not die, so I suspect they have to eat quite a bit, or perhaps it is more poisonous at some times of the year than at others).
There is a fairly old Tutu tree on one of the riverbanks where the cattle must occasionally pass, so we have pruned it to ensure the foliage is above their reach.

This mass of Tutu is growing on the side of the road in the Mangamuka Gorge where it appears in abundance.


Horoeka - Lancewood - Pseudopanax crassifolius
Lancewood begins its life as a strange-looking plant, with long leathery leaves singly attached to the trunk.
This tree is in transition from the juvenile to young adulthood - the leaves at the bottom of the tree are still of the juvenile form.

Lancewood
Lancewood

We have been delighted to find more and more Lancewood trees growing around the farm, from tiny seedlings underneath other trees on the riverbanks, to very tall mature trees in stands of mature bush.
This trunk, at left, belongs to a tree we've walked around for some years until on one day after some strong winds, I noticed Lancewood leaves on the ground and looked up through the leaves of the other trees to the Lancewood canopy above them.  We have now noted another two mature trees in the immediate vicinity.

Links to:
Pohutukawa & Rata - Project Crimson.
taranakiplants.net.nz - an excellent resource.


References:
Cave, Y. & V. Paddison, The Gardener's Encyclopaedia of New Zealand Native Plants, Godwit, Auckland, 1999.
Dawson, J. & R. Lucas, Nature Guide to the New Zealand Forest, Godwit, Auckland, 2000.
Salmon, J.T., The Native Trees of New Zealand, Reed, Wellington, 1986.


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