Ben’s favourite orchard tree of all
The winner of the best coastal/ carving/orchard tree prize is
totara ( Podocarpus totara), a very stable pink-coloured wood, soft to carve but strong, used traditionally for posts, window frames, and Maori waka and carvings. Totara survives salt winds right down to the tide mark, and produces nice sweet edible red berries. It qualifies as a truly multi-purpose tree, plus the bonus it that it’s resistant to grazing and easy to grow from cuttings.