Photographer's Note

Pohutukawa Po-hoo-ta-car-wa (Metrosideros excelsa)

This is a picture of a Pohutukawa tree growing on a beach. When the tide is in this tree is standing in the water. Its roots are still attached to the cliff behind, but the cliff has fallen away into the sea and all that is left is the roots, still living.

Some of the plant has also died, but the tree keeps on going. Children love to play on these trees at the beaches, and as you can see in this shot, it gets plenty of use as a play thing. The children have made it their playhouse, and the parents their resting place.

Pohutukawa is very much a coastal tree; they thrive near the sea, easily withstanding strong wind, salt spray and drought and are rarely found inland unless planted. The tree hardly ever grows straight and is more likely to have many short trunks with tortuous branches. Usually found growing on cliffs with the branches sometimes reaching in the water, as seen here, (occasionally even found with oysters growing on the branches) and the great roots spread along the cliff-face above.

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Additional Photos by Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 920 W: 68 N: 1359] (4403)
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