Pōhutukawa Trees can live up to 1000 years! This is why they always look so gnarly- they are really old!
They naturally grow north of New Plymouth and Gisborne but they can be found all over Aotearoa.
As young trees, in good conditions, they can grow up to 30cm a year whereas an older tree may grow up to 10cm a year.
Pōhutukawa have the ability to sprout root systems as and where needed. These roots form out of trunks and branches; and are able to grow in air over surfaces as they search for crevices, pockets of soil and moisture.
Early Maori used the flowering of Pōhutukawa as a seasonal sign that kina were fat and ready to eat!
Maori have traditionally had a range of medicinal uses for the Pōhutukawa. Uses include dysentery cures, stopping bleeding and remedies for coughs and colds.
Possums were decimating the Pōhutakawa as they eat their leaves to a point which would kill the whole tree.
Human's often damage roots systems by tramping and driving over them, placing heavy objects on them and even chopping them down.
Now Myrtle Rust is a new threat which can kill Pōhutukawa's. This is a fungal disease which drifted here from overseas.
If you think you’ve seen myrtle rust, don’t touch it, take a photo, and call 0800 80 99 66.