Story: Kauri forest

Stages of growth

Stages of growth

A kauri tree takes on different forms as it grows and matures. This diagram shows three of the most important stages, from adolescent to mature tree.

While young (left), the kauri has a typical conifer form with a tapering trunk, spiralling whorls of short branches, and a narrow, triangular crown.

Between 30 and 50 years, the tree begins to shed its lower branches (centre). At this stage it is called a ‘ricker’, after its use in the 19th century for naval masts and spars.

Once the tree has emerged above the canopy of the forest in its mature stage, the girth of its trunk increases and its top branches support a spreading crown of leaves (right).

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Kauri forest - How and where kauri grows', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007