The Pohutukawa tree's
scientific name is Metrosideros (ironwood = hard timber) excelsa
tree is possibly one of the best known and most loved New Zealand
native trees. Although the Pohutukawa has its natural range in the North
Island, it can be found planted throughout New Zealand in coastal
areas wherever frosts are not severe.
are bright red, smothering the tree in December, hence its common name:
the New Zealand Christmas Tree.
Growing to 15m tall
in old age, the Pohutukawa will retain a shrubbier form for many years.
Indeed it can be clipped into an attractive yet robust coastal hedge.
trees are threatened in their natural habitat by possum damage and pressure
from people. Project
Crimson is a conservation initiative moving towards protecting
these trees along with other Metrosideros species - tree and vine rata.
beauty is augmented as a garden or landscape tree by its tolerance
of poor soils, salt-laden winds and inhospitable dry sunny sites. Many
Pohutukawa cultivars have been bred by New Zealand nurseryman, ranging
in habit, foliage form and flower colour.
Why not try something
different this Christmas
instead of bringing out the plastic tree,
or buying a sad-looking pine, why not plant your very own New Zealand
Christmas Tree which will last for many a Christmas to come!