Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Windsor pines at Waikumete Cemetery, 1886

Captain Robert James of Mt Albert and New Windsor (see "Fruit from the Scoria") donated 60 pinus insignis (Monterey Pine, now pinus radiata) to Auckland City Council for the Waikumete Cemetery as shelter trees in 1886. This, from the Auckland Weekly News, 9 October:
"Endeavours are being made to improve the surroundings at the Waikomiti Cemetery. Captain James, of Mount Albert, has presented some five dozen pinus insignis to the Waikomiti Cemetery, which have been planted as shelter trees. The sextons are employed in their spare time planting and improving the ground, as also in keeping the trees in orderwhich are already planted there."
This isn't even mentioned in the history of the cemetery included with the cemetery's management plan, available online, where only a reference to West Auckland nurseryman William Levy is made (1885, contracted to plant "406 pines, macrocarpa, willows, bamboos, red gums and pampas grass in the gullies.") Captain James sold his Mt. Albert property had moved to New Windsor (well, the Avondale part of New Windsor) in 1881, so -- this is an interesting piece of Avondale arboricultural contribution to the setting up of our largest cemetery.

The pines aren't there anymore, unfortunately. If they weren't cut down over the course of the years, they may have been burnt up in fires.

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