Just north of the Miranda Shorebird Centre is the settlement of Kaiaua, home to a renowned fish and chip shop – and a puriri tree (Vitex lucens) estimated to be 800 years old. Not surprisingly, the tree is found at the end of Puriri Ave in the Domain.
Unfortunately, I can’t find much more about the tree than that – a brief mention in the North Island volume of The Penguin New Zealand Travel Guide by Diana and Jeremy Pope (2009), an invaluable touring companion, seems to be all that there is (the entry is copied into the online Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand) and was what drew me there in the first place.
How do we know how old the tree is? What stories are associated with it? How’s its health holding up? An email request for information to the Hauraki District Council resulted in the Parks and Reserves manager saying: “It is not listed in our significant tree register, nor does it appear in the Franklin tree register (Franklin District Council had control of the Kaiaua area prior to Hauraki DC).”
Read more about puriri in general at the excellent website, The Meaning of Trees.
Not on any register. How extraordinary. Your post prompted me to read the Wikipedia entry on this tree and its uses. Most interesting!
I was quite shocked. Mind you our local council has gleefully removed from the heritage register about two-thirds of the trees that had been protected by it – guess what the outcome has been? Chainsaws at dawn! Not sure what our problem with trees is when other North Island cities clearly value their old trees.