New Zealand Kauri

The Great Kauri Tree "Tane Mahuta" 

height - between 120 and 200 feet 
diameter - 4 - 20 feet

Second only to the Redwood in dimension, the Kauri of the South Pacific has several close species in each country represented. Australia has the extremely tall Karri, Fiji has the Fijian Kauri and New Zealand has the giant Kauri which once dominated the northern regions.

There are few giants left, however the classic "Tane Mahuta" typifies the mature splendour of times past. All living trees are now rigorously protected, photographed and nationally recorded. It is a rare occasion when such a magnificent tree is able to be milled.

However there is modern harvesting of buried Kauri trees, some dimensions rivalling the grandeur of Tane Mahuta. These operations exhume huge logs with stumps intact, from swampland where they have laid for up to 60,000 years. They were seemingly flattened by some exceedingly powerful natural event and covered over by thousands of years of debris. As these swamps yield their treasure, we again can appreciate the magnificent straight grain of the Kauri. As the oxygen free bog preserves the timber, craftsmen and women now utilise this resource to create amazing items.

Kauri is a straight grained timber with swirling stump wood. Colours come in hues of yellow to brown, depending on the chemical reaction with the various location that it was entombed. Growth rings clearly indicate up to 2500 years of age before the burial.

I have personally excavated a tree measuring 13 feet in diameter and weighing 30 tons.

Huge kauri log we unearthed and cut up at Tairua.
Log section measured 3.3 m x 2.7 metres.
Estimated weight -  30 tonnes.  Value $30,000