Scientific name: Dacrycarpus dacrydioides
English name: white pine
Other names: kahika, katea, kōaka, koro
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, wetlands and water features
A very popular garden tree. Handsome, tall and erect, the kahikatea is one of New Zealands tallest trees. Once the dominant species of a distinct swamp forest type all but extinct in the North Island. Not Threatened, however as a forest-type it has been greatly reduced by logging. Growing up to 50-60 metre and with a trunk up to a 1metre. The trunk of young trees is undistinctive, but that of mature trees with the characteristic hammermarked pattern. Young trees has long, narrow and slightly curved leaves, almost fern looking. This juvenile foliage is until 1-2 metre of high. Adult trees have leaves that are short, overlapping, like fish scales. The cones are highly modified swelling at maturity into an orange to red, fleshy fruit with a single black seed. The seed is dispersed by native birds , mostly kereru that eat the seeds with the fleshy fruit, and pass the seeds in their droppings. A large mature can produce up to136 kg of seeds.
Kahikatea tolerate frosts but don't do well with drought until well established. grows rapidly on fertile, well-drained soil, but more tolerant of waterlogged, swampy soils than most trees
Provides for birds
Provides for lizards
Read more about gardening for lizards.