Botanical Name: Agathis moorei
Species: A. moorei
Common Names: Pacific Kauri, Moore Kauri
Habitat : Agathis moorei is native to Western Pacific – New Caledonia. It occurs scattered throughout the main island in subtropical rainforest at altitudes of 250 metres (800 ft) to 1,000 m (3,300 ft). It is threatened by habitat loss.
Agathis moorei is a medium-sized evergreen tree with a rounded crown that grows up to 30 m in height and 60-120 cm in diameter. Bark whitish, exfoliating in fine scales; inner bark tan or reddish. Branches fine, pendent at the tips. Leaves lanceolate to elliptic, attenuate, dark green above, pale below, 5-7 × 0.8-1.2 cm, nearly sessile. Juvenile leaves lanceolate, opposite, 20 × 3.3 cm, on a short, wide petiole. Buds short and round with a few large scales. Cones globular or pyriform, 10-15 × 9-12 cm; cone scales broadly rounded. Pollen cones cylindrical, 2.5-3 × 0.8-0.9 cm, on an 8-12 mm peduncle; scales imbricate, erose and finely denticulate. Seeds narrow, with one oblique wing and one small, acute wing.
Young plants grow better in the shelter and shade of the woodland, but require increasing amounts of light as they grow larger…
Seed – it cannot tolerate desiccation and does not store for much more than 2 months in normal conditions. It does not require pre-treatment. Sowing is done with the wing part of the seed pointing upwards and 66% of the seed buried in the soil. Germination commences within 6 days, with 90 – 100% germination rates within 10 days.Cuttings of leading shoots
Agathis species in general yield a high quality resin, often known as Manila Copal. The resins obtained from Agathis borneensis, Agathis dammara, Agathis lanceolata, Agathis macrophylla and Agathis philippinensis are the most important commercially, but all members of the genus yield usuable quantities.
The resin is obtained in three forms. Firstly, it naturally exudes from the bark, branches, cones etc of the tree, especially as a result of any damage – some of these exudations can weigh as much as 20 kilos. The second form, known as fossil resin, is dug up from the ground – some of this resin can be of fairly recent origin (perhaps secreted by the roots of trees that have been felled, but much of it can be up to 50,000 years old, perhaps formed on a tree that fell naturally and was then gradually buried. The third form of resin is harvested by tapping the tree, though this can easily damage the tree and lead to premature death.
The resin has a range of applications. Traditionally it has been used as a fuel for camp fires, as a torch, as a waterproofing on boats, as a medicine, the smoke from the burning resin is used as a black dye and for tatooing. The resin is used commercially in making high quality varnishes, lacquers, linoleum.
The heartwood is a creamy-white or light yellow, often with a pink reflection, turning golden brown on exposure; it is not clearly demarcated from the 8 – 11cm wide band of heartwood. The texture is fine; the grain straight. The wood is light in weight, soft, not very durable, being susceptible to dry wood borers and termites, and moderately susceptible to fungi. The wood seasons well with only a slight risk of checking or distorting; once dried it is stable in service. It works well with normal tools; screwing and nailing are good; gluing is correct. The wood has a wide range of uses, including for cabinet work and high class furniture, interior panelling and joinery, turnery, wood ware, light carpentry, boxes and crates, cooperage, veneer etc.