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Tree Information x

Identifier: GR/1467
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Fred Naden Whanau Trust
Registration Category: Notable tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:
In 1906 young Fred (Frederick Nehu) Naden transplanted a pōhutukawa seedling in front of the family home in Tokomaru Bay. In 1917 at the age of 19 he went off to the First World War where he was wounded but came back to fight through the Battle of Passchendaele in which he was awarded the Military Medal. He was a runner whose typical survival rate at the time was 4 days.

On his return to New Zealand after being part of the victory force in Germany with the Auckland Regiment followed by a period in hospital in England Fred vowed on his return never again to leave Tokomaru Bay. Prior to the war he had been employed in the Auditor-General's office in Wellington and was looking forward to a career in law or commerce but on his return he resigned his position and returned to Tokomaru Bay. He found solace in the company of the thirty or so veterans of Tokomaru Bay at the local tavern who helped him forget the terrible sights he had seen at La Basse-Ville and Passchendaele. He suffered from what we now know as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and received no treatment for his problem. He died at the early age of 51 in 1950.

In the year prior to his death he told his son Joe, the story of the pōhutukawa tree that stood on the front lawn of their once stately villa in Potae Street. Of how he had followed a party of men around the northern end of Tokomaru Bay to gather parengo - an edible seaweed. When they reached a spot where the sea came into the cliff and he was unable to run across in time he decided, with the men yelling at him, to go home. It was then he spied the pōhutukawa plant growing in a crack in the cliff. He carefully extracted it, shoved it down his shirt, and carried it back home. His aged mother, a very keen gardener, whose flowers, shrubs and fruit and decorative trees have all disappeared since she died in 1937, helped him plant the tree in the front lawn where it still stands today.

Locals remark that the Naden pōhutukawa is easily the best-known tree in Tokomaru Bay almost rivaling its more famous relative at Te Araroa, the pōhutukawa named Te Waha o Rerekohu.

Childhood Reflections - J. G. Naden, M.A. (Hons)

The author appreciates the editorial assistance of Brad Cadwallader in the writing of this article.

1) Auckland War Museum Online Cenotaph, Private F. Naden, S.N. 34409, 20th Reinforcements E Company NZEF.
2) Distinguished New Zealanders, Private F. Naden. Wanganui Herald, Volume LII, Issue 15689, 14 December 1918

Single Tree Details

Genus: Metrosideros
Species: excelsa
Common names: pōhutukawa,
Given Name: The Fred Naden Tree
Height: 17.00m
Height measurement method: Estimated
Height Comments: (none)
Girth: 1070 cm
Girth measurement height: 0 m
Girth Comments: (none)
Diameter: 340.6 cm
Crown Spread A: 23.00m
Crown Spread B: 25.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 24.00m
Actual Planting Date: 1906
Approx. Planting Date:
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 118 years
Tree Health Description: In good health
Tree Form Type: Multi-trunk
Number of Trunks: 33
Tree Form Comments: The largest stem was measured at 600mm
Champion Tree Score: 0
Local Protection Status: No
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
31 Mar 2018 Brooking, S & A.


Lat/Long: -38.12534553947105 / 178.31684127647395
Location Name:
Address: 16 Potae Street
Suburb: Tokomaru Bay
City/Town: Gisborne
Region: Gisborne
Location Description: Situated on the southeast boundary
Public Accessibility: Private-Garden
Local Authority: Gisborne District Council


Preview Credit Date
Adelaide Brooking 31 Mar 2018
Goggle Streetview 01 Feb 2010
Naden Family Records 01 Jan 1917
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