Recent Happenings

Tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku

Reputed to be the largest fuchsia in the world it grows up to 15m. The Genus name Fuchsia is from the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs, (1501- 1566). The species name excorticata means ‘loose barked’ while tukutuku means ‘letting go’, so both names refer to the peeling bark. It is an ‘oddball’ NZ native tree becauseContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Tree fuchsia, kōtukutuku”

A rat taking the bait

Below are some photos, taken from a trail camera, of a rat taking some bait from a possum bait station. As an essential part of the pest control program, it’s great to have some visibility of these stations in action. Unfortunately rats are very good at climbing trees and stealing the eggs of our belovedContinue reading “A rat taking the bait”

Wilf Mexted Reserve Thread fern pānako growing up a tree

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako

Blechnum filiforme or Icarus filiformis or pānako or thread fern is the most common, but unusual ground fern in the Tawa reserves. Its unusual features are that it is the only climbing species of Blechnum in New Zealand and it has three different types of fronds – juvenile, adult sterile and adult fertile. Blechnum speciesContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Thread fern – pānako”

kereru in a kowhai

What do Kererū eat in Winter?

There is minimal seed and fruit available from native trees in winter. Kererū frequently supplement their diet by consuming tree lucerne and young kowhai leaves which are both high in protein. Also when these plants are flowering, kererū take nectar from flowers. These birds are vital for dispersing the seed of large fruiting trees suchContinue reading “What do Kererū eat in Winter?”

Kawakawa

Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa

Piper excelsum (Kawakawa) Piper = pepper and excelsum = tall. Kawa = bitter. A few metres high in lowland bush, kawakawa is endemic to NZ. Recognition features of kawakawa: heart-shaped leaves with a palmate vein pattern leaf petiole is flattened at the base leaves often have holes, caused by a nocturnal looper caterpillar male andContinue reading “Know the native trees in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kawakawa”

Completed lower track in the Forest of Tawa/Te Ngahere-o-Tawa

During June and July, WCC contractors undertook significant work, developing a new track, finally compacting the surface to enable stability of the surface. During this work, some windfall pine trees were cut, while native tree seedlings were repositioned near the track. Throughout the process, John Burnet and Andrew Liley maintained a watchful eye on proceedingsContinue reading “Completed lower track in the Forest of Tawa/Te Ngahere-o-Tawa”

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter

This is sometimes called ‘the funkiest tree’ in our native bush, with its white flowers in winter that grow directly from the trunk. The flowers provide a nectar source for tūī and korimako (bellbirds) at a time when other food is not as abundant. In some years, a strong sweet aroma is evident in theContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kohekohe trees in winter”

Forest of Tawa Ferns black mamaku

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?

Two of our most common NZ tree ferns, are both prevalent in the Tawa native bush reserves. Mamaku Our tallest tree fern, reaching up to 20m, mamaku (black tree fern/Cyathea medullaris) has distinctively black, scale covered koru as the fronds unfurl.The fronds extend up to 5m and can be as thick as a human armContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Mamaku or Ponga?”

Kanono male flowers

Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kanono

Kanono or Coprosma autumnalis –—- previously named C. grandifolia –—- Kanono is a common shrub, up to 6m found in shady, damp and sheltered parts of all the native bush reserves in Tawa. Recognition features of kanono: plants are dioecious (have separate male and female plants). Male flowers have dangling stamens that produce pollen while female flowersContinue reading “Know the native tree species in Tawa reserves with Gil Roper – Kanono”

Possum capture 24 June 2021 South Tawa Motorway Interchange

A possum caught

Andrew Liley reports a possum capture in a Pest Free Tawa trap Andrew advises this possum was caught in a Pest Free Tawa trap he maintains close to the south Tawa motorway interchange – great catch Andrew! “I had just reset and rebaited my three traps on 23rd June before the level 2 announcement and was passing oneContinue reading “A possum caught”

A further stoat

In his role as Pest Control Coordinator, Denis Rogerson reports another stoat capture, but this time in Mexted Reserve, in May 2021. Great to see this work being so effective. Our precious native birds will be so much better off for one less powerful predator out there. Awesome work. You can read more about stoatsContinue reading “A further stoat”

Propagation Unit May 2021 Carol and James

Nursery in action May 2021

The latest working bee in the new nursery involved potting up flaxes. With 125 flax plants in PB3’s with this awesome effort the second shade-house is being put to great use. Carol Andrews, Joanne Youthed and James Wright seen here potting up flax seedlings and watering them. Thanks to Ross Denton who supplied timber forContinue reading “Nursery in action May 2021”

Redwood bush track

Delighted with Redwood Bush

Below is an excerpt of some very happy feedback from a Tawa resident, relating their special experiences over the years with Redwood Bush – their ‘bit of paradise’ “… I am very impressed by some of the improvements made to our track through the Tawa Redwood Bush. I have walked the track every day, rainContinue reading “Delighted with Redwood Bush”

Pest control in Tawa bush reserves

Denis Rogerson, from the FOTBR committee, reports on the monitoring and maintenance of approximately 100 bait stations and 25 traps in the Tawa reserves. These are used to control possums, rats, mustelids and hedgehogs and are important for the health and vitality of native flora and fauna Although possum numbers are well down, historically speaking,Continue reading “Pest control in Tawa bush reserves”

Yellow pohutukawa flower Wilf Mexted Reserve

Did you see this? A yellow flowered pohutukawa tree in Tawa

December brings a greater awareness of pohutukawa trees (Metrosideros excelsa) due to the bright red-coloured flowers. However, a tree near 300 Main Road, Tawa had distinctly yellow flowers. Some trees can have white, pink or yellow-coloured flowers. However, apart from the flower colour, the other features of the tree are typically the same as theContinue reading “Did you see this? A yellow flowered pohutukawa tree in Tawa”

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