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The Mighty Rimu

The Mighty Rimu
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-27
Categories: Trees
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Exposure: f/8, 1/13 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-03-26 9:01
Viewed: 5807
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dacrydium cupressinum

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Dacrydium
Species: D. cupressinum
Binomial name
Dacrydium cupressinum Sol. ex Lamb

Dacrydium cupressinum is a large evergreen coniferous tree endemic to the forests of New Zealand. It was formerly known as "red pine", although this name is misleading since it is not a true pine but a member of the southern conifer group the podocarps. Red pine has fallen out of common use and the Māori name rimu is now used.

Rimu grows throughout New Zealand, in the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura. Although the largest concentration of trees is now found on the West Coast of the South Island, the biggest trees tend to be in mixed podocarp forest near Taupo (e.g., Pureora, Waihaha, and Whirinaki Forests).
It has been planted in Cork, Ireland and has done well.

Rimu is a slow-growing tree, eventually attaining a height of up to 50 m, although most surviving large trees are 20 to 35 m tall. It typically appears as an emergent from mixed broadleaf temperate rainforest, although there are almost pure stands (especially the west coast of the South Island). There are historical accounts of exceptionally tall trees, 61 m, from dense forest near National Park, New Zealand, now destroyed. Its lifespan is approximately 800 to 900 years. The straight trunk of the rimu is generally 1.5 m in diameter, but may be larger in old or very tall specimens.
The leaves are spirally arranged, awl-shaped, up to 7 mm long on juvenile plants, and 1 mm wide; and 2 to 3 mm long on mature trees. It is dioecious, with male and female cones on separate trees; the seeds take 15 months to mature after pollination. The mature cones comprise a swollen red fleshy scale 6 to 10 mm long bearing one (rarely two) apical seeds 4 mm long. The seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the fleshy scale and pass the seed on in their droppings; they are an important food resource for some species, particularly the kakapo, whose breeding cycle has been linked to cone production cycle of the tree.

Historically, rimu and other native trees such as kauri and totara were the main sources of wood for New Zealand, including furniture and house construction. However, many of New Zealand's original stands of rimu have been destroyed, and recent government policies forbid the felling of rimu in public forests, though allowing limited logging on private land. Pinus radiata has now replaced rimu in most industries, although rimu remains popular for the production of high quality wooden furniture. There is also limited recovery of stump and root wood, from trees felled many years before, for use in making bowls and other wood turned objects.

The inner bark can also be used to treat burns and cuts.

I found this big old tree growing on a ridge in a bush reserve just outside Greymouth.
The big grooved vines hanging on the side are 'Puka',the epiphytic broadleaf,Griselinia lucida.
The ungrooved vines with the flakier bark are the epiphytic beginnings of another native tree,'Rata',Meterosideros Sp. which can grow easily as big as this one!

I hope you enjoy seeing this giant from our WEstland forest.

Thanks for looking,and for all feedback.

Argus, haraprasan, jaycee, eqshannon, albert has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-03-26 9:09]

Hello Steve,
This time we are neighbours!
A nice capture of the top of the trunk of this native giant showing the epiphytes and the interesting structure of the trunk. Showing these with the correct exposure has inevitably led to the OE of the sky, but that's life!
Thanks and all the best,

Namastay Steve,
Another beautiful tree which is endemic to New Zealand. Very well composed capture with good details. Thanks a lot for sharing.


Hi Steve,
fantastic photo, I love old and huge trees like this one, very interesting POV and good note about this unknown for me species.
Well done,

hello steve
beautiful picture
good details
super tree
great shot
greeting lou

Ciao Steve, great POV for a fantastic big tree, wonderful composition, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-03-26 17:41]

Hi Steve,

Before my trip to NZ I might have passed right by this tree. I have never seen such amazing trees as I saw there. I saw one just similar to this in Queenstown - is that possible? I had to take a picture of it because it was so impressive. Your shot shows well the size and intricacies of the trunk.


And then we have this one....almost impossible to cut and most likely illegal here and maybe there as well..Super image Steve!

Hello Steeve,
Thank you for sharing this interesting photo of an impressive tree. I guessthat it must be a few hundred years old!
Have a nice W-E

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-03-27 8:08]

Hi Steve,
this is something new for me.
Such a magnificent tree with
good angle of view.
Textures seen in details and many other plants on it.
Well presented of such a tall tree.


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