The largest kauri alive today is Tane Mahuta with a diameter of 4.6m and height of 52m. It is estimated to be between 1200 and 2000 years old. One of the largest kauri trees ever recorded was 'Kairaru of Tutamoe' with an estimated diameter of 6.4m and a height of 65m. Unfortunately, Kairaru was destroyed in a fire before 1900. Kauri are naturally found throughout the upper North Island, in the Northland, Auckland and Waikato regions, and in parts of the Bay of Plenty. If you’re in natural bush and you’re in the upper North Island, it’s likely you’ll be near a kauri. Kauri have existed as a species for around 20 million years.
What is Kauri Dieback?
Phytophthora agathidicida, is the pathogen that causes kauri dieback, and discovered in 2009. The pathogen can sense a kauri tree’s roots, and swim towards them. There is no cure for kauri dieback, and the disease kills most if not all the kauri it infects. It can be spread by just a pinhead of soil, and you can't tell by looking whether a tree is infected or not.
How I can help prevent this disease spreading?
In general, you should always:
Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear, every time you enter or leave a forest/area with native trees, and at every cleaning station.
Use disinfectant only after you have removed all the soil.
Stay on track and off kauri roots. A kauri’s roots can grow outwards 3x as far as its branches.
Infected trees may not show it – never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. If you’re in native bush and you’re in the upper North Island, it’s likely you’ll be near kauri. For more information visit https://www.kauridieback.co.nz/