Story: Logging native forests

Felling a kauri

Felling a kauri

Three loggers take a tea break while felling a giant kauri tree in this watercolour, painted by John Philemon Backhouse around 1880.The scaffolding gives access to the straightest part of the tree, and a scarf (wedge-shaped cut) has been chopped in the trunk to control the direction in which the tree will fall. A cross-saw in the opposite side shows where the men have begun to cut through the trunk.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-052-q-010
Watercolour by John Philemon Backhouse

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Logging native forests - Logging and sawmilling, 1840–1920', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 September 2023)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007