KAURI & AGATHIS

NZ Gardener - - Bay of Plenty Plants -

• Good Kauri drainage don’t tol­er­ate is essen­tial. wet feet. • Don’t plant a kauri too close to the house. They may fill out slowly but they turn into gi­ants. Ta¯ne Mahuta has a girth of al­most 14m. • Don’t plant in a windy po­si­tion. In na­ture, the trees are pro­tected by sur­round­ing bush un­til very tall. • Kauri lose their lower limbs as they grow (the ju­ve­nile stage can last 100 years). • Agathis is Greek for “ball of string”, re­fer­ring to the shape of the fe­male cones. All kauri carry both male and fe­male cones. • Kauri are found from Malaysia and the Philip­pines in the north to Aus­tralia and New Zealand in the south, and in Me­lane­sia but not Poly­ne­sia. Our kauri ( Agathis aus­tralis) is the largest. • Agathis growth is trig­gered by light and rain rather than sea­sonal heat and cold. • Seedlings on the for­est floor can go into hi­ber­na­tion for up to 60 years, switch­ing to nor­mal growth when light fi­nally reaches them. • Both Maori¯ and Euro­peans val­ued the mas­sive, straight kauri trunks for build­ing waka, ship masts and spars, lead­ing to over­log­ging by the early 20th cen­tury.

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