New Zealand's conifer, the kauri, once dominated the northern landscape. This remarkable tree which grows up to 50m with trunk diameters of over 5m can live for over 1000 years, so it has played a part in the lives of all inhabitants, celebrated in Maori Myth and integral to early colonial history.
Over the centuries, kauri's high-quality timber has yielded war canoes, ships' spars, furniture and houses. Today though, the kauri forests are a shadow of their former selves facing a new threat with kauri dieback and providing challenges for conservationists, botanists and scientists working to protect this unique trees' future.
Scientist and historian Joanna Orwin has shown in a lively and richly informative style, how the remarkable story of the Kauri is also the story of New Zealand. Joanna was born in Nelson and educated at Canterbury University, where she studied Botany, Geography and Maori Language and Culture. She is a prize-winning author of historical and adventure novels for children and young adults, all with a strong sense of landscape.