Agathis australis

(previously known as Dammara australis and Podocarpus zamiaefolius)


Kauri timber was important in The timber industry, both locally and abroad. The popularity of the timber saw Northland transformed from forest to farmland in little more than 100 years. Fossilised resin was dug and sold to make varnish and paint.
It was also esteemed by Māori for building waka, while the soot from burnt gum was important for pigment in tattooing.

Up to 30m high in cultivation. A very erect tree, with hard glossy leaves and a round seed cone – like a pine tree. Pillar-like when young, and spreading in a Y-shape after 50 years.

Ideal for giving a vertical element to any frost-free site. Provides accent when planted in rows along paths and boulevards, but only where roads and paths are sealed/paved, as roots are shallow and sensitive. An excellent street tree.

Keep sheltered from high winds when younger. Best in a warm spot in full-sun. Slow to start, but will grow 1m per year when established.

Queensland Kauri (Agathis robusta) – Faster growing, with larger, broader needles. Doesn’t reach as great heights as NZ Kauri.
Fijiian Kauri (Agathis macrophylla) – Leaves are more lush, and sit in pairs along the stems.

Kauri is vulnerable to a soil-fungus which causes “Kauri dieback“. Their roots are close to the surface, and disease can easily enter roots when damaged by treading on. Infected dirt is carried around the country on footwear.
Kauri create a unique forest environment due to their acidic leaf-litter and the poor-drainage their roots create.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand – Kauri
Bushman’sFriend – Kauri
NZ Plant Conservation Network – Kauri
Taranaki Educational Resource – Agathis australis




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