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"Walking" Northern Rātā tree wins Tree of the Year Title

A prominent Northern Rātā tree on the West Coast of the South Island has recently waltzed into a victory at the Tree of the Year awards held by NZ Arb this week.

Popularised by its uncanny double trunked "walking" stance the tree stands at an estimated 32 metres near the Karamea cemetery in an area of farmland where it remains the only tree standing in the field. The tree is also reminiscent of JRR Tollkiens "Ents" living trees from the Lord of the rings .

The mythical looking tree walked over its competitors taking 42% of the votes beating out A lister trees such as the Insta-famous Lake Wanaka tree and a giant sprawling 800 year old tree in Mount Maunganui.

The Northern Rata is one of New Zealand's tallest flowering tree species which can live for up to 1000 years old.

"Rātā begin their lives as an epiphyte up in the canopy of a host tree and then they grow down to the ground.

"That host tree has now gone. Maybe the tree was either very, very big, or there may have been another tree that fell and lent against the host tree, and that's why the roots have split near the ground and given it that walking appearance."

NZ Arb President Richie Hill commented on the joy it brings to fellow tree lovers;

"This award recognises the significant role that trees play within our communities, not only enhancing our local environments but also providing a sense of place for past, present, and future generations,"

Read the original article from RNZ here

The NZ Tree registry here



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