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Tree Information x

Identifier: HBR/1919
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Lloyd, M.
Registration Category: Notable tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:
These two Phoenix palms frame the Waipawa First World War Memorial Clock Tower. Unveiled on 21 July 1922, it has been described as ‘the grandest war memorial in Central Hawke’s Bay’, it being ‘a very ambitious project for the small community of Waipawa’ [1]. Despite there being several historical photos of the memorial showing the growth of the palms over the years (see the photos), there is no accurate date available for their planting. However, going by size, circa 1945 seems reasonable. As the photos show, the verticality of the palms, along with the two Irish yews and Camperdown elm close by, make for a highly visually appealing monument. Even though the reserve land is relatively small, the combination of elements constitutes a notable sight on the drive through the main road of Waipawa (as the existence of a postcard testifies). The inclusion of a gun is very common in war memorial sites (see Cooke [2] on war trophy guns in New Zealand). As a growing list of other New Zealand Tree Register entries shows, it is very common to find Phoenix palms at war memorial sites (eg. see entries for Akaroa, Awapuni, Greymouth, Levin Cemetery, Pākaraka, Patea), though because the planting of these two occurred some years after the memorial was unveiled, the choice of Phoenix palms seems to have more to do with their popularity as a landscape specimen at the time rather than any other direct connection to military campaigns.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Jana Uhlirova of the Central Hawke’s Bay Museum for sourcing and allowing reproduction of the historic images included in this entry (Lloyd, M., 2023).

1. Jana Uhlirova, notes from the Central Hawke’s Bay Museum commemoration of the Waipawa Clock Tower, available at: 100 Years of the Waipawa Clock Tower - Waipawa - Eventfinda
2. Peter Cooke, 2014, ‘The sorry steel: Trophy guns in New Zealand’s World War One commemoration’, Journal of New Zealand Studies, 18: 56-65.

Single Tree Details

Genus: Phoenix
Species: canariensis
Common names: Canary Island date palm, phoenix palm
Height: 25.00m
Height measurement method: Estimated
Height Comments: (none)
Girth: 0 cm
Girth measurement height: 0 m
Girth Comments: not measured
Diameter: 0 cm
Crown Spread A: 6.00m
Crown Spread B: 6.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 6.00m
Actual Planting Date: 1945
Approx. Planting Date:
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 79 years
Tree Health Description: (none)
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: (none)
Champion Tree Score: 87
Local Protection Status: Unknown
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
14 Oct 2023 Lloyd, M.


Lat/Long: -39.94184331839009 / 176.5890944147152
Location Name: Waipawa War Memorial
Address: 84 High Street (SH2)
City/Town: Waipawa
Region: Hawke's Bay
Location Description: Immediately beside the cenotaph.
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Central Hawke's Bay District Council


Preview Credit Date
Michael Lloyd 14 Oct 2023
Michael Lloyd 14 Oct 2023
Central Hawkes Bay Museum
Central Hawkes Bay Museum
Hawke's Bay Digital Archives Trust
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