Point of Interest – Big Redwoods

The main Redwood Grove, Te Mata Trust ParkThis grove of 223 stunning California redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) was planted in 1927 and many are now over 40 metres tall. The Chambers family were great experimenters with tree planting and, having generally favoured eucalypts, decided to try a conifer species. Noting the similarities between the climates of Hawke’s Bay and coastal California, they decided to plant a large grove of redwoods. Native to America, the redwood is an evergreen and extremely long-lived tree with a life span of 2,500 to 3,500 years. They are the tallest trees now living on earth – the record-holder is the Hyperion tree in Northern California which measures 115.61metres (379.3 feet). Redwoods have a conical crown with horizontal branches. Their bark is very thick – up to 30cm – and quite soft and fibrous, with a bright red-brown colour when freshly cut which is where the name redwood comes from. The leaves tend to lie in a flat plane to maximise their ability to capture sunlight. The Big Redwoods is one of the most popular places in Te Mata Park and has been the setting for weddings, concerts and even Shakespearean plays.