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Kauri Pine

KAURI PINE, in botany, Agathis auslralis, a conifer native of New Zealand where it is abundant in forests in the North Island between the North Cape and 38 south latitude. The forests are rapidly disappearing owing to use as timber and to destruction by fires. It is a tall resiniferous tree, usually ranging from 80 to 100 ft. in height, with a trunk 4 to 10 ft. in diameter, but reaching 1 50 ft., with a diameter of 1 5 to 22 ft. ; it has a straight columnar trunk and a rounded bushy head. The thick resiniferous bark falls off in large flat flakes. The leaves, which persist for several years, are very thick and leathery; on young trees they are lance-shaped 2 to 4 in. long and 4 to J in. broad, becoming on mature trees linear-oblong or obovate-oblong and J to ij in. long. The ripe cones are almost spherical, erect, and 2 to 3 in. in diameter; the broad, flat, rather thin cone-scales fall from the axis when ripe. Each scale bears a single compressed seed with a membranous wing. The timber is remarkable for its strength, durability and the ease with which it is worked. The resin, kauri- gum, is an amber-like deposit dug in large quantities from the sites of previous forests, in lumps generally varying in size from that of a hen's egg to that of a man's head. The colour is of a rich brown or amber yellow, or it may be almost colourless and translucent. It is of value for varnishmaking.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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