Podocarpus totara

The totara stand grow on the ridge toward the more southern end of the Reserve. These trees are a medium size, with quite thick foliage of needle like leaves. The totara bark peels away in strips. These totara ensure supremacy by producing a chemical which inhibits other plant growth, including micro organisms. This property makes totara an excellent wood for chopping boards and house piles as the wood is slow to rot. It was also used for fence battens as it splits easily. Totara makes ideal kindling but sparks readily when burning. There are no giants among this stand indicating that these trees have regenerated from seed left from felling by the early settlers about 100 years ago. The striking feature of this stand is the colour of the new growth in the spring contrasting to the brown of the male cones. Like the kahikatea there are both male and female trees. A male tree shown bears a number of cones (taken in October 2003).
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