New Zealand Macrocarpas Beat Monterey Ones (Was:Re: Macrocarpas (Was: Re: Kakariki - St Patrick Day Planting, Wilding Pines))

Brian Sandle bsandle at
Thu Mar 18 10:06:29 EST 1999

"Great Trees of New Zealand," by Burstall and Sale, 1984, tells us:
Mighty Macrocarpa
The macrocarpa growing at B.J.Farrelly's, Moffats Road, Tauranga, is not
only the tallest in New Zealand; it is far taller than the species grows
in its natural habitat on rocky headlands of the Monterey Peninsula.
There mature trees grow from about 6 m to 21 m in height with diameters
of some 100 cm to 120 cm, dimensions which the Tauranga tree easily tops
[at 47.7 m]. No other trees which have been introduced to New Zealand
have so spectacularly exceeded their home growth.
Well I think that the trees planned for cutting here in Thomson Park New
Brighton are bigger than the big ones in their native habitat, by quite
some, too. 
While not the tallest by about 6 m, a macrocarpa growing on Deans
Homebush Station, near Darfield, Canterbury, may be the better specimen.
It is only 41.4 m high compared with the 47.7 m of the Tauranga tree but
its girth is larger at 167 cm compared with 148 cm. Planted in 1860 it
is still vigorous. Between measurements taken in 1969 (diameter 145 cm;
height 414.1 m) and 1982 it had grown 22 cm in diameter (1.7 cm per
year), if only 0.3 m in height. Credit for the good form of this tree is
given primarily to its pruning in 1933 to 16.2 m by Mr Jim Lysaght, of
the New Zealand Forest Service, while attending a forestry school.
So a 73 year old tree was pruned and grew more and got stronger.
Why not ours? 
Maybe the frost lies longer in mid winter for a few weeks. Maybe the
healthy sun is kept off some children. But so is there shelter from the
skin cancer sun.
The idea is to have markets in this donated park once the trees are cut.
But is not shade also good for markets? And for people to sit to listen
to the band on the rotunda?
The trees' low branches have been pruned so there is visibility into the
park and some wind gets through. But further over it is not so strong.
Where is data on wind breaking effects of types of planting?

At what distance from a 5 m tree trimmed up to 1.8 m does wind come back 
to ground?

What effect does a belt of 30 m macrocarpas trimmed to 4 m or so have?

Thank you for your help.
Brian Sandle

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