Swamp Kauri - New Zealand
The New Zealand Kauri Tree
Kauri are among the world's most magnificent and mightiest trees. It is native to New Zealand, Aotearoa.
Agathis australis, commonly known by its Maori name kauri (pronounced "Ko-ree"), is a coniferous tree found in the northern regions of New Zealand. It is the largest but not tallest species of tree in New Zealand, standing up to 50 m tall. The trunk girths up to an impressive 16 metres and can live for over 2,000 years. The tree has smooth bark and small thick narrow leaves.
Kauri forests are among the most ancient in the world. The antecedents of the kauri appeared during the Jurassic period (between 190 and 135 million years ago).
Maori used kauri timber for boat building, carving and building houses. The gum was used as a fire starter and for chewing (after it had been soaked in water and mixed with the milk of the puha plant).
The arrival of European settlers in the 1700s to 1800s saw the decimation of these magnificent forests. Sailors quickly realised the trunks of young kauri were ideal for ships' masts and spars, and the settlers who followed felled the mature trees to yielded huge quantities of sawn timber of unsurpassed quality for building.
The gum too, became essential in the manufacture of varnishes and other resin-based products. The gum was obtained through digging, fossicking in treetops, or more drastically, by bleeding live trees.
More forest was cleared as demand for farmland and timber increased in the early and mid 20th century.
Our New Zealand swamp kauri is a national taonga (treasure) and is highly regarded the world over.
Swamp kauri timber is known also as ancient kauri. The timber is milled from trees that have been buried & preserved for between 800 and 50,000 years. The most common preservation environments are lowland bogs & peat swamps. Other environments known are dry river beds, coastal sand dunes, infilled volcanic craters, ancient lakes and hilly area's that have had landslides effectively toppling and trapping heavy kauri trees.
Kauri Artisan Products
Swamp kauri is a highly sort after for wood turning and carving. It is one of the world’s most valuable and exquisite timbers and is known to be the oldest workable wood. Every piece created from ancient kauri is unique.
The Fantail House is proud to bring you kauri works made by New Zealand artisans right here in Aotearoa.