Brought to you by NZ Arb
The search for Aotearoa's most interesting tree
WINNER ANNOUNCED 5 JUNE
Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year NZ Aotearoa
We invite you to be part of Aotearoa's first-ever Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year Aotearoa.
Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year Aotearoa is for all New Zealanders. An interactive celebration of the special trees that are part of our lives and communities.
Tree of the Year is not about the most beautiful tree, but about the stories and heritage that connects us to our trees.
Voting closed on 31 May.
Vote counter hidden throughout final week.
Winning tree announced 5 June (NZ Arbor Day).
The aim of Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year NZ Aotearoa is to highlight our significant trees and share what makes them important. Inspired by the ‘European tree of the year’ which has been running since 2011, this competition is about telling our cultural tree stories. We want you, Aotearoa, to nominate and vote for the greatest trees in the country. It’s not about the biggest or oldest, it’s about trees that play a part in our lives, our history and our future.
This year we have selected some trees for you to vote on to get the ball rolling. These are just a snapshot of some of the many very cool trees and stories in Aotearoa. Next year we want you to tell your stories. So, get together with your hapu, iwi, family, kura or community and show us that you are the guardians of the next Rākau o te tau Aotearoa.
2023 Tree Finalists
Christchurch Gallipoli Oak
Also known as ANZAC Oak (Quercus hartwissiana), it was planted on August 4, 1924 and is an important symbol of remembrance, often included in ANZAC Day commemorations. It was grown from an acorn collected on the Gallipoli battlefield in Turkey (and sent home in a tobacco tin.
Hansen Lemon Tree
This lemon at Rangihoua (Citrus x limon) is believed to be the oldest surviving lemon tree in the country! It stands on the site where Māori and Europeans first learned to live side by side and is a popular tourist attraction which is visited by thousands of people every year.
Plimmer Oak (Quercus robur) is an important symbol of Wellington's history and identity. It is over 150 years old and the acorn from which this tree was grown was sent from South Africa to John Plimmer by Sir George Grey when he was Governor of the Cape Colony, South Africa.
Rēkohu /Chatham Island
Rākau momori are unique Moriori carvings (or dendroglyphs) into living kōpi trees (Corynocarpus laevigatus) and are now only found on Rēkohu (the main Chatham Island) and are becoming increasingly rare due to a range of environmental factors. This finalist is the largest remaining tree in the grove. Could this tree be the face of 2023?
Bay of Plenty
Taketakerau (Vitex lucens) is sacred to the Ūpokorehe Iwi (Tribe). It grows in the Hukutaia Domain, near Ōpōtiki, and is considered to be more than 2000 years old. The ancient tree was used 200 to 300 years ago by the people of Ūpokorehe to safeguard ancestral bones. The area is a wāhi tapu (a sacred site) and the tree is the reason this reserve survives today, surrounded by farmland.
Which tree will it be?
Nominations for the 2023 Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year NZ Aotearoa are closed. Voting opens soon! In the meantime, consider making a contribution to the New Zealand Tree Register.
Subscribe to our emails when you vote to stay up to date with the latest Rākau o te tau / Tree of the year NZ Aotearoa news.