Forest Owners urge vote for tōtara as plant of the year
The Forest Owners Association wants people to vote for tōtara as plant of the year in a poll being conducted by the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.
Association President, Peter Weir, says this indigenous tree is probably the best bet for the development of an indigenous planted forestry industry in New Zealand.
“Our industry relies on Radiata pine which grows well everywhere. Tōtara is much the same. It flourishes in a wide range of New Zealand environments and produces an amazing and versatile timber.”
“There’s real interest in Northland in particular in growing tōtara commercially.”
“But for most people it’s a fantastic icon of the pre-settlement podocarp-dominated New Zealand bush and doesn’t need to be harvested to be appreciated.”
Peter Weir suggests that Federated Farmers are also likely to nominate a favourite tree or plant they would want their members to vote for.
“We backed different birds in the Bird of the Year. We wanted the kārearea falcon and the Feds went for the whio duck, but neither of those came in the winner. Maybe one of us will do better this time.”
The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network vote can be found;
Go to Podocarpus tōtara.
Voting closes Midnight Monday 25 November
Reference “Tōtara – a natural and cultural history”, Philip Simpson, Auckland University Press, 2017