Asked by: Silvano Manzanal
home and garden landscaping

What are pohutukawa trees used for?

Last Updated: 2nd May, 2020

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Pohutukawa often features on festive greetings cards, poems and stories. As well as a cultural symbol, the species has several practical uses. Its hard strong timber was used for ship-building, and parts of the tree were also used medicinally by the Maori.

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Similarly, you may ask, how long do pohutukawa trees live?

Pohutukawa can live for hundreds of years in their natural coastal environment. While it is common to see 100-year-old trees growing in home gardens, both pohutukawa and northern rata can probably live up to 1000 years.

what is the scientific name for pohutukawa? Metrosideros excelsa

Simply so, do pohutukawa trees flower every year?

Yes, you will get flowers over months, but you only get a few flowers at any one time and the whole thing about the pohutukawa is that beautiful mass of bloom around Christmas. Ditto the yellow forms of M. excelsa.

Can you cut down pohutukawa trees?

Undertake any work when the tree is most dormant – i.e. mid winter. However, reducing the size of a pohutukawa is not easy. If you cut large branches back you will precipitate epicormic growth back along the remaining branch which thickens up the within tree foliage.

Related Question Answers

Augustus Nercio

Professional

Can you grow pohutukawa in pots?

* Grow pohutukawa in a big pot for a couple of years. "See if you like it before you plant it out. * Tree health can affect flower colour and bounty, particularly for container-grown plants, so keep them well-fed and watered.

Vlada Villalobos

Professional

What is a rata tree?

Metrosideros umbellata, the southern rata, is a tree endemic to New Zealand. It grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) or more tall with a trunk up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) or more in diameter. It produces masses of red flowers in summer. Unlike its relative, northern rata, this species rarely grows as an epiphyte.

Zilvinas Marthiensen

Professional

How tall does a pohutukawa tree grow?

Mature Trees
Mainland pohutukawa grows to 20m high with up to a 35m wide crown. The massive spreading crown; wider than tall, moulds to coastal wind and slope and spreads weight over unstable ground.

Senorina Siebarth

Explainer

How big do pohutukawa trees grow?

In a very fertile environment with good moisture and plenty of room, young plants grow at around 30cm per year and the older ones at around 10cm with 2mm on the girth. Pohutukawa can grow to 20m high with a 35m crown. In the natural coastal environment you see trees that are literally hundreds of years old.

Sara Urvois

Explainer

How do pohutukawa grow?

How to Grow Pohutukawa
  1. Choose a site that receives direct sunlight each day and is not crowded by other trees and vegetation.
  2. Dig a hole 3 inches wider and deeper than the root ball of the pohutukawa tree.
  3. Cover a 3-foot radius around the trunk of the tree with cedar mulch to retain moisture and prevent the growth of weeds.

Tonita Jjenov

Explainer

What does a pohutukawa represent?

Pohutukawa, with its striking red flowers, is an important symbol for all New Zealanders. In Maori mythology, its flowers are said to represent the blood of a young warrior who perished while trying to avenge his father's death.

Rafal Pons

Pundit

What is the name of the tree with red flowers?

Red flowering gum is very desirable as a flowering accent tree, with its profusion of bright flower clusters in late summer, and sporadically throughout the year.

Hichan Franzbecker

Pundit

What is New Zealand's national tree?

Pohutukawa trees. The pohutukawa tree (Metrosideros excelsa) with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition.

Wasim Zahraoui

Pundit

Are pohutukawa flowers poisonous?

Since it belongs to the ivy family, parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. The berries of this genus are mildly poisonous as their seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides and can cause mild gastrointestinal problems when eaten raw in large quantities.

Shishi Detesan

Pundit

How old is the oldest pohutukawa?

around 600 years old

Isabelo Alia

Pundit

Are there pohutukawa trees in Australia?

Mysteriously, the pōhutukawa and its myrtle cousins are no longer found in Australia. They exist all over the South Pacific, from Hawaii, to Papua New Guinea, to the Bonin Islands near Japan, to a number of sub-Antarctic islands. But the trees do not grow Down Under.

Oriana Roleff

Teacher

What does Project Crimson aims to save?

Project Crimson is a conservation initiative to promote the protection of the pohutukawa and the rata which are under threat due to browsing by the introduced common brushtail possum.

Basili Escolante

Teacher

What does a bottle brush look like?

This bottlebrush grows like a tree and can reach between 15 and 30 feet (4.5 and 9 meters) in height. It is drought resistant and hardy and has attractive, narrow foliage and white, papery bark. The flower spikes are typically white, cream, or light green, but pink, red and mauve varieties can be found.

Dona Shirinyan

Teacher

How do you grow pohutukawa from seed?

Steps
  1. Collect the seed in late summer.
  2. Hold a bag over a cluster of seed capsules.
  3. Carefully remove the bag from the cluster.
  4. Sow the seeds thinly in good potting soil in suitable seedling containers.
  5. Plant in the garden when the seedling has turned into a small sapling and is strong.

Arcilia Wloch

Teacher

How do they celebrate Christmas in New Zealand?

Our winter is their summer, so New Zealanders celebrate Christmas in the warm summer sun. Therefore New Zealanders call the pohutukawa their Christmas tree. As it is usually quite warm on Christmas Day, New Zealanders can eat their Christmas dinner outside. Many people have a picnic or a barbecue.

Wenxiang Twesmann

Reviewer

Which trees Cannot be cut down?

Sandal is one of the tree which is not allowed to cut down without the permission of the govt.

Caridad Dikul

Reviewer

What trees can be cut down without permission?

New trees added to the list include bakain, bamboo, tut, guava and Ailanthus increasing the number to seven. “These trees are used as crops in rural areas therefore do not require any permission before cutting.

Zviad Barghahn

Reviewer

Will the city cut down a tree on my property?

It is legal to remove a tree on your property if the tree is not protected by the city. Every city and county have what is called a Tree removal Ordinance which is a list of Regulations/ laws for the removal of trees. Some cities have strict laws on cutting down trees, whereas others are quite lenient.

Darci Sutoris

Reviewer

How do you find out if a tree has a TPO?

Find out if a tree is protected. The locations of sites that have a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place are now available on our GIS mapping system. You can also request a copy of a Tree Preservation Order. Please note: It may take up to 10 working days to copy and supply the documents.