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Tree Information x

Identifier: NR/0800
Tree Type: Single
Registered By: Cadwallader, B.G.
Registration Category: Notable tree – International interest
General Notes:

'Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) is historically New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree and without doubt its most famous. Insofar as Champion trees points are concerned, Tāne Mahuta comes second to Te Matua Ngahere. It is thought this tree was first discovered and identified in the 1920’s when contracted surveyors surveyed the present State Highway 12 through the forest. In 1928 Nicholas Yakas and other Bushmen, which were building the road, also identified the big tree Tāne Mahuta.'
'According to Maori mythology Tane is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tane was the child that tore his parent’s parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have here today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.'
Ref, Department of Conservation, Tāne Mahuta Track notes.

'In 2002, it was laser measured at 45.2 m tall with a dbh of 491 cm; that number is misleading, though, because the base of the tree is buttressed. The main trunk is 17.8 m tall and contains 255 m3 of wood. The total wood volume, including the crown, is much larger. The enormous crown is nearly 35 m wide and has a dozen branches over 1 m in diameter, three greater than 2 m, and one over 3 m. Adding the wood in the crown brings the total wood volume up to 516.7 m3, making this tree just a bit larger than the largest known Thuja plicata. Thus Agathis australis is the largest tree in the Araucariaceae and the third largest conifer, after Sequoiadendron and Sequoia (Robert Van Pelt e-mail, 27-Jan-2003).' Source:

'The often quoted height (51.5 m) volume (244.5 m3) and diameter (438 cm) of Tāne Mahuta is taken from Burstall and Sale's 1984 book 'Great Trees of New Zealand. The calculations were made using forestry methodology of the time and were sourced from a 1971 New Zealand Forest Service survey of 13, and later 20, named kauri in Waipoua and Omahuta Forests. The volumes established for each tree were of merchantable timber volumes inside bark. The 2002 measurements quoted on this record are taken from visiting U.S.A. tree researcher Robert Van Pelt's calculations where he used very accurate laser based technology and tree measurement methodology.' (Cadwallader 2011).

[1] Burstall, S.W. NZFS, Forest Research Institute, Mensuration Report No. 16, 1971 (unpublished).
[2] Burstall S.W. & Sale E.V. 'Great Trees of New Zealand' 1984.
[3] Robert Van Pelt 2002 & 2009 NZ Summary spreadsheet.

Single Tree Details

Genus: Agathis
Species: australis
Common names: kauri,
Given Name: 'Tāne Mahuta'
Height: 45.20m
Height measurement method: Laser Impulse 200 LR
Height Comments: (none)
Girth: 1544.4 cm
Girth measurement height: 1.37 m
Girth Comments: At the USA standard
Diameter: 491.6 cm
Crown Spread A: 38.40m
Crown Spread B: 38.40m
Avg. Crown Spread: 38.40m
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date:
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: not known years
Tree Health Description: (none)
Tree Form Type: Single Trunk
Number of Trunks: 1
Tree Form Comments: 'The main trunk is 17.8 m tall and has 255 cubic meters of wood. the tree does not become columnar until ~4 m up, the base is largely hidden in photos by dense brush' (RVP).
Champion Tree Score: 788
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
STEM Score: 0


Date Observer Action
25 Jul 2002 Van Pelt, R.
24 Jan 1971 Lloyd, R.C, Lawn, R, et al NZFS


Lat/Long: -35.601033 / 173.527139
Location Name: Waipoua Forest
Address: State Highway 12
City/Town: Waipoua
Region: Northland
Location Description: The Tāne Mahuta Track is sign posted from State Highway 12, which runs through the Waipoua Forest. The track is 200m long and takes 5 minutes. It is very important that you keep to the walking track at all times. kauri have very sensitive surface roots, and foot traffic around the trees endangers their life span and may potentially spread the PTA disease that is threatening them.
Public Accessibility: Department of Conservation
Local Authority: Far North District Council


Preview Credit Date
Matt Smillie 24 Apr 2016
Matt Smillie 24 Apr 2016
Chris Earle 26 Mar 2003
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