Kauri is a cone-bearing tree endemic to the North Island of New Zealand
North of Auckland
, although at one time it was present at one time it was present in the South Island, too. Other trees of this genus are found in Australia
, New Guinea
A kauri may grow to a height of 37m and its trunk may be up to 4.5m in diameter
. The bark is thick and flaky and the leaves are leathery.
In the nineteenth century
, kauri timber was in high demand for shipbuilding
and other purposes and for a time it was feared that overcuting might exterminate
the species. However it has been found that the tree will regenerate
from seed and plans are now proceeding to grow far more of these trees.
The tree produces a resin
, or gum
, which may accumulate on the bark and eventually drop to the ground. It was known as "kauri gum," and there was a large trade in this during the nineteenth
century when gum diggers
harvested the gum