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Dunedin Botanic Garden has just released a new tree trail. Visitors have been asking about certain trees and there are also other, lesser-known trees with their own special stories to tell.
The trail leads visitors through the botanic garden, sampling a small selection of trees. Variety and year-round interest were key criteria, including autumn colour and winter outlines. With strong shapes and some quite quirky forms, native plants are a particular goodie at this time of year.
Ages span from a tree so old it is believed it dates back to when the site was used by the Acclimatisation Society, to another tree discovered near Cape Reinga in 1975.
The trail visits akiraho, the popular suburban hedge plant, showing us what it looks like as a natural tree. A tall, tree-like palm is included too - hemp palm, named for its fibre used to make rope, sacks and cloth.
Education is a major goal of a botanic garden, so visitors are welcome to pick a leaf to learn from. A small sniff of a crushed leaf of the headache tree can clear a headache, but beware - too much can actually cause one!
Each track's accessibility rating is shown, so people can pick and choose their route according to their circumstances. To do the whole thing would take a couple of hours.
The brochure folds to not much bigger than a credit card. It is available at the information centre, which is open daily from 10am-4pm.
Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information, contact Clare Fraser.