Giant NZ Kauri Tree
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is Tane Mahuta (Maori for "lord of the Forest"). It is the largest Kauri tree (pronounced cow-ree) in existence. Although there are taller kauris and stouter kauris around, this one wins overall. |
Height of first branch: 9.45m – 31 ft
Merchantable height: 17.68m – 58 feet
Total height: 51.51m – 169 feet
Girth: 13.77m – 45.2 feet
Diameter: 4.38m – 14.4 feet
Tane Mahuta – “lord of the Forest”
Species: Australis, the only species in New Zealand
This Kauri tree is found in the Waipoua National Forest, on the westcoast of Northland, New Zealand. It is NZ’s largest living tree in volume and is believed to be approximately 1500 years old. It is an Agathis Australis of the Araucariaceae family, a variety of tree that is second in height only to the Sequoias of North America. Its massive smooth, grey-white trunk rises 31feet before a branch appears. The gigantic specimen is a remanent of the tremendous ancient subtropical rain forest that once grew there, a survivor of 200 years of intensive logging.
The kauri tree is New Zealand’s largest and most famous native tree. It is a type of conifer or pine tree which grows in the subtropical northern part of the North Island. Ancestors of the kauri first appeared in the Jurassic Period 190 – 135 million years ago. The kauri – podocarp – hardwood forests are among the most ancient in the world.
Native to Northern New Zealand, it produces an excellent quality of timber and also gum that can be used by industry. Kauri gum is a resin which bleeds from the tree. If the bark is damaged the resin bleeds out and seals the wound. This prevents rot or water getting into the tree. It can build up into a lump which goes hard. As the tree grows the bark is continually shed. The gum is forced off and falls onto the ground around the tree. This had been happening for millions of years before mankind started to use it. There were vast quantities of gum in the ground.
New Zealand has fossil kauri gum in coal dated 43 million years old. More recent kauri gum from 10,000 to 30,000 years old is known as kauri copal (or resinite). Kauri gum was used by the Maori people for cooking and lighting because it burns very easily. It was also used as a pigment to make the dark colour in tattoos, and as a chewing gum.
I scanned and cropped this picture.
red45, LordPotty, Luc, mlines has marked this note useful
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- [2004-12-14 5:46]
Very good note and interesting picture. This is real lord of the forest :-) Maybe it is little overexposured on Tane Mahuta but overall very good.
Nice to see Tane Mahuta here.More impressive when seen for real close up, obviously. Very hard to balance the white and dark here. A difficult shot to take. I should think photographing this would be easier on an overcast day.
(Did you know that the tallest native tree is on Pirongia? ... a 66m Kahikatea)
- [2004-12-14 13:19]
Nice shot of this huge tree Janice. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing
Une bonne photo. Les éléments entourant ton arbre nous donnent une bonne idée de sa taille. Bien vu. Un peu sur-exposé peut-être, cet arbre. Une excellente note accompagnatrice.
What a majestic tree! I like how you have framed it with the surrounding vegetation, nice idea. Thankyou for your note too, very informative.
- [2004-12-17 11:40]
This is one BIG tree! You captured it well as I could see that it was really big even before I read your notes.
Very well done and thanks for posting
- [2006-05-22 7:51]
Hi Janice, Excellent capture of this, perhaps the best known tree in NZ. Very good note about its history. Congratulations. Murray.