Campbell's Bay Community Forest
Trees of our Forest
The Cabbage Tree
The cabbage tree's Maori name is Te Kouka. The cabbage tree has creamy white flowers. Bees collect the nectar and the tree also produces fruit which is very popular with the bellbird and the wood pigeon. The usual height is around 12 metres and they grow best in damp areas. There are 15 named different species of cabbage trees. Maori used to eat the tender roots and they also used the leaves to make baskets. Did you know the cabbage tree was used by the Maori to heal things like dysentery and cuts and sores?
The Kauri Tree (Agathis australis)
The kauri tree is one of the mightiest trees in the world's forests. They can grow up to about 50 metres tall after 1500 years, but we don't have any that tall in our forest. Kauri are very easy to grow from the seed. Leave the round cones in the sun until they ripen and then plant them.
The nikau tree is tall and skinny in the trunk. Nikau is a bit like a coconut tree and the wood pigeon likes to eat the fruit. We have some nikau trees in the forest
Totara can grow up to 30 metres high. Their leaves are straight and prickly.The totara have some fruit hanging off which are red with green seeds, and tuis like to eat them. They look like little tomatoes and people can eat them too.The Maori waka taua (war canoes) can be made out of totara logs, with one log being able to make a canoe big enough to carry 100 warriors. The inner bark of the totara was used for roofing and storage containers.
This is a very, very special tree. We are very lucky to have one in our forest. It is extremely rare and was discovered in the Three Kings Island by our very own ex-pupil (1925) Professor Geoffrey Baylis. Professor Baylis was a Professor of Botany, at Otago University and he managed to grow some of these extremely rare trees. When he discovered it, it was the last tree of it's type in the world. He has donated one to our forest and we hope it will grow and that we will be able to grow some trees from it's seed. When it flowers, we will be able to find out if it is a male or female and then hopefully buy a mate, so that we can get more of these trees.
Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides)
These are enormous trees, they can grow taller than any other tree in New Zealand and live for five centuries. We have some in our forest, but we don't know how old they are.
Kowhai (Sophora microphylla)
When you say kowhai, you pronounce it like it has an f in it. Kofai. Kowhai have lovely yellow hanging flowers and we have some big trees at our school, as well as new ones in our forest. Tui, bellbirds and silvereyes like kowhai flowers. The leaves are little.
The Ponga Fern
We have lots of other trees and bushes too, including coprosmas, macrocarpa, grasses, putaputaweta, mahoe, puriri, rimu, lancewood, lace bark, dodonea, lemonwood, pseudophanax, red matipo, kanuka, manuka and titoki.
The pohutukawa trees have huge big curly roots when they are old. We have them on our beaches. The ones at school are still fairly young, especially the ones in the forest. After the war, some soldiers planted some along our fence by the road and now they are quite big. Pohutukawa have bright red flowers. Opposums like pohutukawa and eat all the flowers.
Putaputaweta trees are an attractive New Zealand native. It has tiny white flowers and fruit which, when ripened, turns black.
We had a forest full of weeds in the olden days - pampas grass and ginger, jasmine, honeysuckle, arum lily, wattle, blackberry, pine and acmena. We still have some, especially wandering jew, but as the trees and plants get bigger, the weeds find it harder to grow.
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