Kauri Agathis australis

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
kauri pine


Agathis australis, commonly known as the Kauri tree, is an ancient conifer with a striking appearance. This majestic plant can be characterized by its smooth, pale bark that often peels away in flakes, creating a distinctive, patterned surface that can vary from gray to a bronze color. The tree has a columnar shape, tending to widen at the base, which contributes to its grand and sturdy appearance. Its relatively straight trunk is a standout feature, presenting a remarkable contrast to its surrounding environment. The foliage of the Kauri is equally impressive, with leathery, green leaves that are generally lanceolate or ovate in shape, and can measure up to a substantial length, presenting a glossy surface that gleams in the sunlight. These leaves are arranged in opposite pairs or whorls, creating a dense, verdant canopy that provides shade and shelter beneath it. Male and female cones are produced on mature trees; the male cones are small and elongate, whereas the female cones are more rounded. Overall, the Kauri tree's aesthetic is one not easily forgotten, contributing to its iconic status in the regions where it naturally occurs. It exudes a sense of permanence and resilience, often being associated with the forest giants of the world due to its substantial and enduring form. The unparalleled presence of the Kauri tree makes it a truly venerable member of the plant kingdom.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Kauri, New Zealand Kauri, Giant Kauri

    • Common names

      Agathis australis.var.australis, Dammara australis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Agathis australis, commonly known as the Kauri tree, is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no well-documented or commonly reported cases of poisoning from ingestion of any part of the Kauri tree.

    • To pets

      The Kauri tree is also not recognized as a toxic plant to pets. Like with humans, there is a lack of evidence or reports indicating that ingestion of parts of the Kauri tree causes poisoning in animals. However, as with any non-food plant material, ingestion in large quantities could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset or obstruction.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      65 feet (20 meters)

    • Spread

      20 feet (6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      New Zealand


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Cultural significance: Kauri trees such as Agathis australis have strong cultural importance to the Māori people of New Zealand, often used in carving and traditional crafts.
    • Ecological importance: They play a crucial role in their native forest ecosystem, supporting biodiversity and providing habitat for a wide range of species.
    • Longevity: Kauri trees are known for their exceptional lifespan, living for thousands of years and symbolizing resilience and endurance.
    • Timber production: Kauri wood is valued for its durability, straight grain, and resistance to decay, making it suitable for a variety of construction uses.
    • Conservation: They are an iconic species that can drive conservation efforts due to their unique nature and threatened status, encouraging ecosystem protection.
    • Educational value: Kauri trees offer educational opportunities for learning about botany, ecology, and conservation efforts for unique and ancient tree species.
    • Landscaping: Although they are large trees not commonly used in small gardens, kauri can be an impressive and majestic feature in large landscapes and parks.
    • Climate regulation: As large trees, kauris can store significant amounts of carbon, contributing to the mitigation of climate change impact.
    • Soil stabilization: Their extensive root systems can help prevent soil erosion in their natural habitats, especially in hilly areas where they are commonly found.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The resin of the Kauri tree can be used as a varnish or a natural glue. Early settlers used it for fixing things or to finish furniture.
    • Woodworkers value Kauri wood for making musical instruments like guitars and violins because of its excellent tonal qualities.
    • Traditionally, the timber was used for boat building owing to its strength, lightweight, and resistance to rot.
    • The wood is sought after for specialty items such as carving and turning, where the grain and color are appreciated.
    • Kauri gum, once heated, produces a sweet-smelling smoke and has been used in perfumery and to enhance the aroma of incense.
    • The large, straight trunks of Kauri trees were historically used as flagpoles or in construction for their notable height and girth.
    • Kauri wood serves as an excellent material for making specialty veneers for furniture, paneling, and luxury car interiors.
    • The bark of the Kauri tree has been used in landscaping and gardening as mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    • The sawdust from Kauri wood is sometimes utilized in smoking food, imparting a unique flavor to meats and fish.
    • Kauri timber's durability and resistance to chemicals make it suitable for creating vats and tanks used in winemaking and other fermentation processes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Kauri is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Kauri is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity and Endurance: Agathis australis, commonly known as Kauri, is renowned for its long lifespan, symbolizing durability and the ability to withstand the test of time.
    • Strength: The Kauri tree is one of the mightiest trees in the forests it inhabits, representing physical and inner strength.
    • Interconnection: Kauri trees form ecosystems where other species thrive, symbolizing ecological connections and the importance of community.
    • Resilience: The Kauri’s ability to survive and recover from adverse conditions, such as harsh weather and disease, makes it a symbol of resilience.
    • Ancient Wisdom: As one of the oldest tree species, Kauri is associated with wisdom and a connection to the past.
    • Sanctity: Kauri trees hold significant spiritual importance to the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand, symbolizing sacredness and spiritual reverence.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    For the Kauri tree, also known as Agathis australis, it is essential to water young trees regularly to establish a deep root system. Mature trees are more drought-tolerant and typically require watering only during prolonged dry periods. When watering, aim for a deep soak at the base of the tree, providing around 10 gallons per watering session for young trees once a week during the first few years. Adjust the amount based on rainfall and soil drainage, decreasing frequency in wetter months. Consistent monitoring of soil moisture will help determine the need for additional watering.

  • sunLight

    The Kauri tree prefers full sunlight conditions but can tolerate partial shade. Ideal placement for the Kauri tree would be in a well-exposed area that receives several hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid deep shade as it can hinder the growth and health of the tree.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Kauri trees grow best in temperate climates with temperatures ranging between 50°F and 77°F. They can withstand occasional dips to around 40°F but are sensitive to prolonged exposure to freezing conditions. The ideal temperature range ensures healthy growth and vitality for these giants.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Kauri tree is generally only necessary to remove dead or damaged branches and to ensure safety. The best time to prune is in the late winter or early spring before the new growth begins. Prune sparingly and with caution, as the Kauri tree does not always respond well to heavy cutting, and over-pruning can lead to disease intrusion.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Kauri tree, or Agathis australis, thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 5.0-7.0. A mix of loamy soil, compost, and coarse sand or perlite is recommended to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Young Kauri trees may need repotting every two to three years to accommodate root growth. Mature Kauri trees grow very slowly and may only need repotting every five years or more, depending on the pot size and root development.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Kauri trees prefer moderate to high humidity levels. Ensuring a humidity level around 50-70% is beneficial for the Kauri tree's health, mimicking its natural humid forest environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and adequate humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil, full sun to partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Agathis australis, commonly known as the kauri tree, begins its life cycle when a mature tree produces male and female cones. Pollination occurs typically through wind transfer of pollen from the male cones to the female cones. After fertilization, female cones develop seeds which eventually are dispersed, often by gravity as they fall to the forest floor. Once on the ground, if conditions are right, a seed will germinate and a seedling will emerge, initiating the growth stage. As a slow-growing tree, the kauri seedling will take many years to mature, developing a massive trunk and a small crown of leaves. Upon reaching maturity, the kauri tree may reach immense sizes and live for thousands of years, continuously reproducing through the production of cones, thereby perpetuating its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the Kauri tree, known scientifically as Agathis australis, is through seed germination. Seed collection typically occurs when the cones mature, which is usually in late summer to autumn. To propagate by seeds, one needs to sow the seeds in a well-drained seed-raising mix, lightly covering them with soil. The ideal temperature for germination is between 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius), and the seeds require consistent moisture to ensure successful germination. It should be noted that Kauri seeds are relatively large and have a short viability period, so they should be sown as soon as possible after collection. The seeds can take several weeks to germinate, and seedlings should be carefully tended to avoid fungal diseases which Kauris can be prone to at this stage. Once the seedlings have established themselves and reached a height of about 6 inches (approximately 15 centimeters), they can then be transplanted into individual pots or their final growing positions, taking care to not damage the taproot which is critical to their survival.