This remaining northern rata was one of many trees of this species, along with rimu trees that dominated the native bush in the Tawa area at the time of European settlement from the 1840s onwards. It’s probably the largest remaining northern rātā in the wider Tawa region. However, trees were felled for local use and possums especially decimated the northern rātā trees of their foliage, leading to their demise. It’s hard to imagine this today, but northern rātā timber was a prized source of firewood for the open fires in the homes of early settlers. It was cut into two-foot timber lengths and sold for 25/- per cord, which was a pile of about 3.6m2.
Photos and article credit: Gil Roper