On the 30 August the Retreat was deeply affected by the Pukaki Fire creating the need for planting new trees on the landscape and encouraging regeneration of local plants such as coprosma, ferns and tussock. We want you to be part of our Native Tree Recovery programme. There is no cost to you, just the opportunity to plant your very own native tree to help restore this beautiful landscape that we are situated on. We have two tree varieties for you to choose from.
Tōtara Tree. Tōtara heartwood is durable making it a valuable timber to Maori and the first European settlers. It was used by Maori for building canoes and dwellings and many useful implements were also carved from it. The bark was woven into food baskets, used for thatching and also for making fire. Ripe fruit was gathered for food. And later settlers used the timber for house and wharf piles, and for those parts of buildings requiring durable members. Tōtara is a medium to large tree which grows slowly to around 20 to 25 metres but can reach 40 metres and it is noted for its longevity and the great girth of its trunk. The bark peels off in papery flakes, with a purplish to golden brown hue and it has sharp, dull green needle-like leaves are stiff and leathery.
Kōwhai Tree. Kōwhai (pronounced ko'fai) are small woody legume trees within the genus Sophora that are native to New Zealand. Their natural habitat is beside streams and on the edges of forest, in lowland or mountain open areas. The yellow blooms of the kōwhai are widely regarded as being New Zealand's national flower although they have no official status. In the Māori language, the word kōwhai means 'yellow'. We have included the kōwhai tree as it attracts a number of native birds especially the Tui.
You will be give the GPS coordinates of the location that you have planted your tree so you can keep tabs on how it is developing over the years and even come back to look at its progress.