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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Ecology arrow Part 2: Further exploration of Whakairiora Mountain Forest
Part 2: Further exploration of Whakairiora Mountain Forest PDF Print
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Articles - Ecology
Written by Wade Doak, Wade T Doak's blog   
Saturday, 18 September 2010

Over the weeks that followed Jan and I made many return trips to Whakairiora, often guiding first comers to its glories. We were driven by a powerful motivation: of all the forest remnants we have explored, this one was not a D.O.C. reserve. Private ownership threatened this precious realm of Tane with subdivision; house sites and roading. We wished fervently it could become a regional or national park. Perhaps by the time you read this its fate will be sealed...

First we took the easy twenty-minute path that runs left across the mountainís northwest flank out to the Kawaka Promontory. There we found a rare grove of kawaka or New Zealand cedars Libocedrus plumosa with several huge trees, many good sized ones and a great many lush green seedlings at every stage. The wind-blown seed of such coniferous trees would not travel far. New Zealand cedars have a very attractive shaggy chocolate brown bark. All the way up the trunk the bark fractures into short strips which curve upwards in tatters. In silhouette, looking through a glade, its profile is very appealing. Such a dense grove of these cedars is an unparalleled sight in our forest remnants. The D.O.C. people we guided over the mountain recalled a couple of such places: one near Kaikohe; the other near Cape Brett, but none as dense as this. In the adjacent coastal forests we had only seen the odd kawaka or two; never a grove.

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