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Tree Information x

Identifier: NR/0734
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Cadwallader, BG
Registration Category: Historic tree – National interest
General Notes:

This tree is located at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It was here on February 6th, 1840, that the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between Maori and the British Crown. The Treaty Grounds are part of the 506 hectare (1000 acre) Waitangi National Trust estate, which was gifted to the nation by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932.

The tree is documented to have been one of a box of seedlings collected from Norfolk Island and brought to New Zealand in 1836 by John Edgerley, gardener and botanist to Lieutenant Thomas McDonnell, R.N. (Retired). It is generally accepted that this was the first introduction of this species to New Zealand.

The history of how two seedlings arrived at Waitangi is recorded by Robert Mair (1830-1920). ‘In 1836 my mother (Elizabeth, wife of Gilbert Mair) had a box of Norfolk pines given her by Captain Thomas McDonnell of Hokianga. She gave two to James Busby, the then British Resident, and planted one at our home, Wahapu, Bay of Islands.’ Other seedlings from the box were planted at a number of mission stations in the North and one at McDonnell's residence at Horeke, with some being destroyed by Elizabeth Mair's young daughter.

This tree is the most prominently situated with the second tree possibly being the one growing in the gully south of the Treaty House. The plaque at the base of the tree states: Planted by AGNES WIFE OF JAMES BUSBY 1836. A puzzling statement is displayed inside the Treaty House, ‘.....some of the Busby’s trees still survive, the most spectacular a Norfolk pine, the only survivor of a row planted by Busby but felled in 1845 by Maori.’
Notes compiled by Cadwallader, B.G. Refs: Great Trees of New Zealand. S.W. Burstall & E.V. Sale 1984, New Zealand Forest Service, Forest Research Institute, Mensuration Report No.16 1971 (unpublished). Waitangi Treaty House historical notes.

Single Tree Details

Genus: Araucaria
Species: heterophylla
Common names: Norfolk Island pine,
Height: 43.50m
Height measurement method: Clinometer
Height Comments: Taken with a baseline of 40m
laser measured height 42.7 (27.1.03 - R, Van Pelt)
Girth: 753 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.4 m
Girth Comments: (none)
Diameter: 239.7 cm
Crown Spread A: 21.00m
Crown Spread B: 21.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 21.00m
Actual Planting Date: 1836
Approx. Planting Date:
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 188 years
Tree Health Description: In good health, typically thin in the upper canopy for an old tree. There is some wind damage in the mid canopy. There is quite a bit of damage to the base of the tree and surface roots from mowing equipment.
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: A single leadered tree
Champion Tree Score: 456
Local Protection Status: Unknown
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
23 Mar 2010 Thwaites, K. & Cadwallader, BG


Lat/Long: -35.26534015257195 / 174.0823495388031
Location Name: Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Address: 1 Tau Henare Drive
City/Town: Paihia
Region: Northland
Location Description: In front of the Treaty House on the main lawn near the flagpole. The tree can be seen from Russell.
Public Accessibility: Local Council Park
Local Authority: Far North District Council


Preview Credit Date
Brad Cadwallader 23 Mar 2010
Brad Cadwallader 23 Mar 2010
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