Rimu trees can be between 700-1000 years old. These rangatira of the ngahere have witnessed alot in their time.
Rimu, also known as red pine, is recognizable by it’s shaggy looking foliage resembling on old mans beard.
The plentiful berries are super popular with our forest birdlife, Kakapo especially, tie their breeding to Rimu masting. Unfortunately possum and other pests enjoy this feast too.
2019 was a big year for Rimu mast seeding. Mast seeding provides a bonanza of food for native species but also fuels rodent and stoat plagues that pose a serious threat to native birds and other wildlife.
The red fruit cup that carries the seed is edible, the seeds are produced only every 5 to 6 years. The small cones (5mm) which form at the end of branchlets of female trees take about 18 months to ripen.
The bitter gum was applied to wounds to stop bleeding and the leaves were used to heal wounds. The bruised inner bark was applied to burns.
The trunk is usually about 1m but can be as much as 2m in diameter.
Ancient Rimu trees are found all over New Zealand, this old forest dweller lives peacefully in Pureora Forest. Notice the watermarks of age in the bark. Older trees become homes to many other plants.
Thankfully Rimu on public land are protected from felling.
To discover beautiful stands of Rimu, head into the hills when lockdown is finally over. Otanewainuku walks, the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, McLarens Falls, Rimutaka Forest Park, why not try the short loop walk from the Kakaho Campsite in the Pureora Forest.
The rimu tree dates back 70 million years, to the Podocarp forests that used to dominate the New Zealand landscape. Our rakau rangatira are so precious.
Using the information in this presentation or the buttons below, make you own little fact sheet about the beautiful Rimu! In the first website you can find a recipe for Captain Cooks rimu beer which he used to cure scurvy!