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Tree Information x

Identifier: OR/0796
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Cadwallader, B.G.
Registration Category: Notable tree – National interest
General Notes:

This tree has been known for many years as the tallest tree of any species recorded in New Zealand. It was named the 'Frank Peper Tree' in 1984 by Burstall and Sale and was profiled as tree number 99 in their book 'Great Trees of New Zealand' (although Mr. Pepers' name was incorrectly published as 'Peper'). Frank Pepers was a Forest Service officer and his great enthusiasm to have the tree measured and photographed led the authors to name the tree after him. The tree has been alternatively and more commonly referred to as the 'Waitati Gum'.
The tree is situated in the grounds of the former Orokanui Psychiatric Hospital, now the Orokonui Eco-sanctuary, a 307 hectare conservation project contained within a predator-proof fence.
The original planting of the 2.4 ha single aged stand occurred in about 1870. Since then the trees have shown exceptional growth. Measurements have been recorded several times, 58.8 m. in 1968 and 69.1 m in 1982, and although the methodology is unknown, spike marks on the tree indicate that it may have been climbed and tape-dropped on one of these earlier occasions.
In July 2004 a team of local arborists climbed and documented the height to be 77.4 m. A full account of this was published in the NZArbor 'Tree Matters' magazine which can be referenced online at (Cadwallader 2011)
References; Mark Roberts pers. comms. 7.4.11 & 14.4.11, Richard Catterall pers. comm. 10.1.12. NZArbor 'Tree Matters' issue 23, Sept. 2004, Burstall, S.W. & Sale, E.V. 1984 'Great Trees of New Zealand', NZ Forest Research Inst. Mensuration Report No. 23 1970 (unpublished).

Single Tree Details

Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: regnans
Common names: mountain ash, swamp gum
Given Name: The 'Frank Pepers Tree'
Height: 77.40m
Height measurement method: Climb & Tape Drop
Height Comments: The last several metres was estimated.
Girth: 292.1 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.37 m
Girth Comments: No girth recorded in 2004, the data shown is 1982.
Diameter: 93 cm
Crown Spread A: 0.00m
Crown Spread B: 0.00m
Avg. Crown Spread: 0.00m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date: c1870
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: 154 years
Tree Health Description: (none)
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: Close planting has drawn the tree up. The first branch is at 41m
Champion Tree Score: 369
Local Protection Status: Unknown
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
13 Jul 2004 Roberts, M.E., Ransom, B., West, N. & Glenn, D.
16 Apr 1982 Pepers, F. & Burstall, S.W.


Lat/Long: -45.763915495452736 / 170.59061765670776
Location Name: Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Address: 600 Blueskin Rd
City/Town: Waitati
Region: Otago
Location Description: The tree is about a 45 minute walk from the visitors centre. The tree stands at the bottom of a valley surrounded by a forest of mountain ash which towers above a canopy of native re-growth. (Roberts 2011). Click here to see a map
Public Accessibility: Department of Conservation
Local Authority: Dunedin City Council


Preview Credit Date
Mark Roberts 13 Jul 2004
Mark Roberts 13 Jul 2004
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