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Dacrydium cupressinumRimu forms a very tall forest canopy tree growing to a height of more than 35-50 metres with a wide distribution throughout New Zealand.
Its habitat is lowland to montane forest.
The rimu comes from the podocarpaceae family, podocarpus (one of the species that form the podocarpus forests in NZ, others include the kahitatea and the totara ).
The species is not threatened, although as a forest-type it has been greatly reduced through widespread logging. Very few intact examples of rimu-dominated forest remain in the North Island.
The rimu is a dioecious conifer. Dioecious means that there are separate male and female plants that as juvenile plants are indistinguishable.
The female plant bears the flowers and fruit.
The rimu only flowers and fruits once every five to seven years.
The fruits take a year or more to mature and are ripe between February and May.
It is an attractive pyramid shaped tree with a weeping habit
The needle-like foliage can vary from bronze to green when young but always green in the adult form.
It is a hardy tree preferring a sheltered moist shady situation when young but will also grow in full sun, forming a fine specimen tree.
It is easily grown from fresh seed.
The rimu is not susceptible to any pests or disease.
When planting stake the tree to ensure the single dominant leader is maintained, and mulch well to prevent the plant from drying out in Summer.
Plant the rimu as a specimen tree or plant in groups to increase the probability that one of them will be a female plant.
The Maori have the belief that rimus should always be planted in groups of 3 or more.
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