The world's forests make an unseen but vital contribution to life on earth in replenishing our oxygen. They provide us with shelter, timber, fuel and paper. And in mountainous New Zealand, forests absorb much of the heavy rainfall and help prevent devastating floods and damaging erosion.
Our native forests are among the most ancient in the world with an ancestry traced back over 190 million years by the study of fossilised pollen grains. Even today, trees are our oldest living things - some Kauri, the oldest living New Zealand trees, are thought to be over 2000 years old.
Four great giants of our forests are the subject of the 1989 Native Trees stamp issue.
Product listing for Native Trees
Click on image to enlarge.
Single 80c 'Kahikatea - White Pine (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides)' gummed stamp.
The tallest of New Zealand trees reaching 60 metres, kahikatea favour swampy lowland forest but can be found up to 600 metres above sea level. One of the scarcer native species; the last remaining kahikatea forests are found on the west coast of the South Island.
Single 85c 'Rimu - Red Pine (Dacrydium cupressinum)' gummed stamp.
Rimu can still be found throughout New Zealand in lowland and mountain forests but it is a slowly dwindling resource. The rimu has been tracked back to very similar forms of 70 million years ago - today the largest living rimu are estimated to be 1,000 years old.
Single $1.05 'Totara (Podocarpus totara)' gummed stamp.
Totara grows to 30 metres in height with a straight trunk up to two metres through and old trees can reach 1,800 years old. Totara wood is extremely durable - the Maori felled huge single logs to make their large canoes, and later the timber was also used for wharf and building piles.
Single $1.30 'Kauri (Agathis australis)' gummed stamp.
The mighty kauri once covered much of North Auckland and the Coromandel peninsula. Some living trees are thought to be about 2000 years old - often reaching 30 metres or more in height. In the north of the North Island, 67,144 hectares of kauri forest still remain.
|First Day Cover||First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$4.25|
|Date of issue:||07 June 1989|
|Designers:||D Gunson, Auckland|
|Printers:||House of Questa, England|
|Stamp size:||30mm x 35mm|
|Sheet size:||100 stamps per sheet|
|Perforation gauge:||13.5 x 14.25|
|Paper type:||Red phosphor coated, unwatermarked|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 7 June 1990.|