Source: Collins Handguide to the Native Trees of New Zealand by Ken Stewart.
KAURI Agathis australis
Largest of New Zealand trees, towers up to 30 m or more, trunk diameter 3-7 m. The tree is resinous and when wounded excudes a sticky white gum which hardens, clears, and forms lumps that drop to the ground as Kauri gum. Young trees (rickers) have tapering, narrowly conical crowns but in mature trees the crown is flat-topped with great branches spreading up to 30 m in diameter. Largest Kauris have been estimated at 2000 to 4000 years of age.
Shiny ash-grey, falling in large think flakes, hammer marked.
Juvenile 5-10 cm; adult alternate, blunt, short, stiff, 2-4 cm long.
Flowers and fruits
Male cylindrical, 2.5-5 cm long; female cones, green ovoid, to 7.5 cm diameter, when ripe release winged seeds. Monoecious.
Lowland forests from Northland to latitude 38ºS.
In the past, many uses: Maori canoes, later boatbuilding, furniture making, and woodturning; the gum was processed in varnishes and paints.
RIMU Dacrydium cupressinum
One of New Zealands most beautiful trees. Its straight, tapering trunk stands out in a forest, towering up to 50 m, with a diameter of 2 m. In natural stands maturity is reached in approximately 300 years, but life span could be 800 to 900 years. Young trees have a graceful, weeping appearence.
Dark greyish-brown, shed in irregular flakes leaving a wave pattern on the trunk.
Olive green, small, close set, scale like.
Flowers and fruit
Dioecious. Flowers appear at tips of branchlets; male solitary, or rarely in pairs; female, solitary, appear September-January. Seeds dark, about 3mm long, set on a fleshly red base, from March.
Throughout New Zealand. Tallest trees found in central North Island and South Westland. Main standing reserves are on the West Coast of the South Island.
Heart timber is beautifully grained, used in house building, furniture, panelling and woodturning.