Geography

Why are the cabbage trees dying?

For centuries, ti rakau (cabbage trees) have been renowned for their remarkable ability to defy age and decay, and to virtually "live forever." Although the old trunks might perish, there were always new sprouts to carry on the life of the tree; But now the cabbage trees are dying. Particularly in the north of the country, these curious trees - among New Zealand's most distinctive native plants - are giving up the ghost. While Maori and pakeha have grieved their loss, scientists have struggled to discover the cause of the sudden decline. Then, late last year, a breakthrough...

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