A Long, Long, Long Story

botanic1A Long, Long, Long Story

The history of Kauri is almost the history of life on Earth, for the origin of this tree is earlier than that of almost every other tree now known, except the Gingko. It was a pioneer of tree root systems, of leaves and cones, and of sexual reproduction, and it can be traced back 250 million years to the fabulous southern continent of Godwana.

It is a history of evolution and survival, of a tree that outlived the landscape on which it developed, survived the sinking of most of New Zealand below the ocean, and dramatic climate change. And just, but only just and this part of the story is yet to end, it has survived the arrival of homo sapiens on this, the last part of the planet to be occupied by this species.

In that 250 million years the last 200 has been most dramatic for Kauri, when it has shifted from being the most dominant life – form in Northern New Zealand to the edge of extinction. This is mostly a story of destruction, of devastation and profound stupidity, but it could also be the foundation of a new age of Kauri that will see it thrive again, alongside and in the interests of the humans who now control its space.