Miro trees are evergreen coniferous species that can grow between 20-35 metres. Their trunk diameter is around 1-2 metres. The tree has a narrow, conical shape with smooth reddish-brown bark. Micro leaves are small and narrow with pointed ends arranged spirally around the tree branches. The female trees grow small red berries.
Miro is found in lowlands and montane forests throughout New Zealand. The tree thrives in well-drained solids and is commonly found alongside totara and kahikatea.
Miro was often used for carving and building, while its berries were an essential food source for Māori. The tree is also associated with the god Tāne, regarded as the god of the forest.
Miro is an important species in New Zealand forests, providing a habitat for many native birds and insects. The tree is also essential in stabilising soil and preventing erosion; its roots help retain water. Miro is also a good carbon sink, storing large amounts of carbon in its wood.
Kākā: Kākā are large, charismatic forest parrots that are often found in areas where Miro trees grow. They have a beautiful mix of green, red, and brown feathers. Kākā feed on the nectar, fruit, and seeds of Miro trees, playing a role in their pollination and seed dispersal.
Kōkako: The Kōkako is an iconic New Zealand bird known for its distinctive blue-grey plumage, wattles, and melodious song. They are closely associated with native forests, including those with Miro trees. Kōkako feed on the berries and leaves of Miro trees and are important for seed dispersal.
Tūī: Tūī are medium-sized honeyeaters with a striking iridescent plumage and a distinctive white throat tuft. They visit Miro trees for their nectar-rich flowers and play a role in pollination. Tūī also feed on the fruits and insects found in and around Miro trees.
Kererū: Kererū are large, green pigeons with a distinctive white chest and iridescent feathers. They are known for their noisy flight and play a vital role in seed dispersal. Kererū feed on the fruits of Miro trees, swallowing the seeds and dispersing them through their droppings.
Fantail: Fantails are small insectivorous birds with a fan-shaped tail. They are often seen flitting through the branches of Miro trees, catching insects disturbed by their movements. Fantails are known for their friendly and acrobatic nature.
Ruru (Morepork): The native owl of New Zealand, Ruru are nocturnal birds that may roost in Miro trees during the day. They are known for their haunting calls and feed on a variety of prey, including insects, small mammals, and birds.
Miro is considered a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss. However, it is not currently regarded as a threatened species.
To help conserve miro, it is important to protect and restore its habitat by preventing deforestation, controlling pests and diseases, and supporting reforestation efforts.