Common Name: Pukatea
Scientific Name: Laurelia novae-zelandiae
Height at Maturity: 35 meters
Time to Maturity: 10 years +
Growth Rate: Slow
Habitat: Pukatea is a fragrant tree generally found in lowland forests predominately in the North Island and the top of the South Island such as Te Pukatea Bay in the Abel Tasman. Enjoys damp conditions and can handle poorly drained soils as well as hillsides. This is in part due to a sturdy Buttress and pneumatophores creating a respiratory root structure.
Domesticated Uses: It’s a tough timber that is soft to work with. As such, had uses in boat building and as creating figureheads on the bows. The bark and dried leaves have been found to be poisonous to rats and sheep.
Medicinal Uses: The Bark was traditionally used to extract the alkaloid Pukateine used as an analgesic/pain relief. The Cambium was boiled in water and the liquid used to treat tuberculosis.
Flowering: September – December, Green & White
Fruiting/Nectar: October – January
Birds Life: The seed is wind dispersed.
Planting Instructions: Dig the whole twice as wide as the pot is deep. Remove tree from the pot and loosen the roots up is they are tangles. Place in the hole band back fill leaving a ring of higher dirt to capture rainfall. Ensure ample watering once planted. Mulching around the trunk can help a lot. You could consider a mulching mat, or use bark, pea straw etc. Plant after the last frost!