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Tree Information x

Identifier: AR/1808
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Smillie, M.J.
Registration Category: Notable tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:
Walker’s Bush, near the top of Mountain Road, is named after W.R. Walker. In the late 1920s he swapped land with the local council in order to preserve the handful of large kauri remaining in the bush [1].

The biggest tree was reported to have a girth of 31 ft (9.44 m) in 1927 and was given the title of the largest tree near Auckland. Sale repeated this claim in Quest for the Kauri [2].

Of the large kauri in the bush, the now-permanently closed track went past two: A fine tree around 2.5 m dbh [3], 36 m tall with a spread of 25 m (as per 2019 LIDAR data) that is some 300 m down from the start of the track. That tree was often mistaken for the Walker Kauri, as the track narrowed and became more obscure down to the big tree at the top of the gully of the Opunuku stream.

With a diameter around 3 m, a height of 46 m and a magnificent crown 36 m across, the tree, in apparent fine health before the permanent closure of the track in 2017, ranks as the local champion kauri in Auckland City, ahead of the less than healthy Bishop tree in Titirangi (AR/1444).

Hidden away by the landscape and the rāhui due to the Phytophthora agathidicida toxin, the tree is similar in stature to the more famous Square Kauri near Tapu, Coromandel (COR/1364). Mr Walker, so fond of the bush that bears his name, had his ashes scattered near the tree [4].

[Smillie, 2022]

1. Auckland Sun VOLUME I, ISSUE 221, 7 DECEMBER 1927, PAGE 13
2. E.V. Sale, Quest for the Kauri, 1978
3. Auckland Botanical Society Newsletter 5(2) 1948
4. Auckland Botanical Society Newsletter 33(2) 1976

Single Tree Details

Genus: Agathis
Species: australis
Common names: kauri,
Given Name: Walker Kauri
Height: 46.00m
Height measurement method: LIDAR
Height Comments: Auckland North, New Zealand 2016-2018 LIDAR data
Girth: 944.9 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.4 m
Girth Comments: Reported as 31 feet in 1927
Diameter: 300.8 cm
Crown Spread A: 36.00m
Crown Spread B: 36.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 36.00m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: 1000
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 1022 years
Tree Health Description: All indications are the tree is in good health
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: Bole 12 m based on old photographs
Champion Tree Score: 552
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0

Observations

Date Observer Action
14 May 2022 Smillie, M.J.

Location

Lat/Long: -36.90161379017231 / 174.5580311558258
Location Name: Walker's Bush
Address: Mountain Road
Suburb: Henderson
City/Town: Auckland
Region: Auckland
Location Description: Although the tree is in a public reserve, the track to the tree no longer exists, and access to the bush is restricted to protect the trees from Kauri Die-back.
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Auckland Council

Images

Preview Credit Date
Charles Roberts, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections JTD-14F-01759-1-G 01 Jan 1932
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