A Redwood In New Zealand
 By Jerry Meislik

Redwood prior to any work.


In May of 2005 we had the great pleasure of visiting the fascinating nation of New Zealand. It is an astonishingly beautiful country with clean water, air, mountains, oceans, and incredibly warm and friendly people. We were fortunate to spend time with our friends Pam and Adrian Blok of Auckland. They were extremely kind and gracious hosts and even took us on a tour to see some huge Ficus in the landscape of Auckland! Even though Auckland gets some freezing weather and damp cold, a few species of Ficus can reach huge size when planted in the ground. They pointed out massive Ficus macrophylla and Ficus rubiginosa very happily growing in the parks of Auckland.

One evening was spent refining a redwood of the Blok's. The tree is the bottom of a much larger tree that was topped, and has a huge base and an upright growth pattern. The tree recovered strongly from its initial reduction and sprouted loads of new foliage from many points on the trunk.

In analyzing the tree, we were all of the opinion that the most logical design for this tree would be a hollow trunk design. Without further ado, the foliage was trimmed back, and the apex of the trunk was marked with chalk to indicate its new shape. Following the chalk lines, Adrian proceeded to use a saw to rough out the shape of the trunk's new top. The remaining branches were analyzed and possible future branches were retained.

Foliage roughly trimmed back to expose trunk and rootage.

Chalk is used to outline the proposed hollow area and new apex of the trunk.

Adrian using saw to shape the apex of the trunk.

The happy group and the newly shaped Redwood.

After our visit the Blok's used various power tools to further carve the tree's hollow trunk.

The hollow carved by the Bloks.

Detail of the hollow.

The future of the tree will depend on how it responds to this process. The cavity of the tree may be deepened to amplify the hollow trunk concept. The hollow will be treated with lime sulfur to preserve the deadwood. Branches will be selected and retained to augment the design. A virtual design is shown below as one possible future of this splendid tree.

Virtual image of the tree.

Previous Page
All Rights Reserved © 2005 Jerry Meislik