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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]



The gigantic kauri, the king of the New Zealand forest, and the most valuable tree in the land, is confined to the northern and middle portions of the Auckland Province, and although this splendid tree is being cut down and converted into houses for the people, or exported to other lands, at the rate of nearly half a million pounds worth per annum, there is still sufficient left to make the forests of North Auckland the most interesting in the country. The forest area of the province is a little over five million acres, of which more than three-fifths is south of Auckland. All these forests are exceedingly dense; not only are the large trees very close together, but among them grow smaller ones of great variety, interlaced by the omnipresent supple-jack. The cutting of the forests of New Zealand for the useful purposes to which the timber is put, goes on much faster in Auckland than in other parts of the Colony, but wholesale destruction by the axe and fire, to make room for sheep and cattle, is less common than in other parts of the island. Besides the kauri—wonderful as a standing tree—some-times twenty feet in diameter, with a trunk of a hundred feet to the first branch, and correspondingly useful when converted into sawn boards—there are numerous other very valuable timbers in the forests of Auckland, many of which are common throughout the island. These woods are mentioned in the descriptions of some of the leading furniture factories, where they are extensively used with admirable effect.

A very large proportion of the forests of Auckland are upon Crown lands, and the kauri still standing on these lands is estimated to be worth more than a million pounds, beyond the cost of cutting and sending it to market.

In proportion to geographical extent, the area of forest land in the province of Auckland is less than the corresponding area in Wellington. In Auckland less than a third, while in Wellington more than half the entire province is still forest-clad.