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Practising the art of power-napping, though healthy, is not possible in everyone’s day, but shifting your focus and giving your eyes and brain a break is. It helps when you have trees to look at. According to science, people who can see trees are more able to relax, have improved focus, and reduced stress. See if Hinau (Elaeocarpus dentatus) and Pokaka (Elaeocarpus hookerianus) might do it for you.

Hinau (Elaeocarpus dentatus)

Hinau is a specimen forest tree with slow growth to four metres within ten years, up to a maximum of 15m. Its deep green foliage is made up of long narrow leaves which are leathery and slightly toothed around their edges. The trunk gives way to many sturdy upright branches from which lateral secondary branches spread, giving Hinau its attractive large rounded crown lush with foliage at the branch tips. E.dentatus blooms from October to January in an extraordinary display of small cream coloured cup-like bisexual blooms hanging in rows from drooping stems. This tree flowers in profusion and in a good flowering season, is smothered in them. Grey-purple olive shaped fruit (drupes) ripen from April to June and are an important food source for birds, particularly kereru, which are the main means of seed dispersal. Hinau is found up to 1000m in milder climates and in lowland forests of the South Island occasionally extending into montane forest up to 1000m. It is hardy on good soils, and prefers some shade. It makes a lavish street tree.

$130 each        $650 each            POA     
                  (available end 2022)

Pokaka (Elaeocarpus hookerianus)

Pokaka is an upright forest specimen tree, though somewhat smaller than Hinau. It grows steadily to four metres within ten years, to a maximum height of 12m, divaricating as a juvenile. Of the native divaricating species Pokaka exhibits by far the largest range of leaf forms - from long and thin to small and round. These can be present on the same branchlet. The adult mid-green foliage has larger more uniform, serrated, leathery leaves, which create a vaguely conical tree form. Its adult form is capped by a dense crown held aloft by stout upright branches. Once the divaricating tangled-branch stage has passed, Pokaka blooms most attractively between November and January, with petite green-tinged bell-shaped white flowers on drooping stems similar to Hinau, but smaller. In April through to June, small berries (drupes) appear, ripening to dark purple and attracting birds. E.hookerianus is hardy and sparsely distributed over most of New Zealand, although infrequent on the North Island. Commonly found in lowland to montane forests, Pokaka is happiest in full sun and thrives on most soils, including poorly drained shallow ones.

 $130 each              POA     
Pokaka and Hinau are Elaeocarps. The Latin name for Hinau means olive-seed (elaeocarpus) and toothed (dentatus) referring to the leaf. Pokaka (E.hookerianus) was named after botanist, Sir Joseph Hooker born in 1817. He took part in Sir James Ross’ Antarctic expedition in 1839, and in 1864 published his Handbook of New Zealand Flora which described specimens at Kew provided by collectors.
  • Pokaka and Hinau have many similarities and in close contact Pokaka can hybridise with Hinau
  • Hinau fruit is a nut covered in pulpy fruit altogether 1–2cm long
  • Kereru feast on them and bird-spread seedlings may be found as far away as a kilometre from the nearest tree
  • Maori ate Hinau pits after long soaking  and baking into loaves when food was short
  • Rats are partial to Hinau fruit but enough seedlings survive to ensure regeneration
  • Earlier Maori pulverised the bark and steeped it in water which was then used as a mordant for black dyes 
  • Bark was also used in a decoction for severe skin problems 
  • E.dentatus wood is a similar colour all the way through and it can be difficult to tell heart from sapwood
  • It is a tough fine-grained hardwood, but apart from the black heart found in some specimens can be vulnerable to borer
  • That black heart was sought after by settlers in Wellington district who knew the tree as Black Hinau. 
  • E.hookerianus  timbers are similar to Hinau, fawn-coloured right through sapwood and heart 
  • Pokaka timber is rendered much more durable when creosoted
  • It’s a strong hardy timber well-suited to rafters and beams in housing construction 
  • Hinau and Pokaka both make terrible firewood, even after drying
  • Both species are easily propagated from fresh seed collected in autumn but Pokaka may germinate quite slowly, occasionally taking years, while Hinau should germinate around four weeks after stratification for a month
  • Both are very attractive trees, particularly in flower, with Hinau the showier in bloom, and Pokaka the more elegant in form, if slightly smaller than Hinau
For price and availability list
* All prices are exclusive of GST

102 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana

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