Dacrydium cupressinum



Rimu is a majestic native tree that can reach towering heights o up to 50 meters. A remarkably straight and robust trunk underscores its grandeur. The crown of the rimu presents itself in a distinctive dense conical shape. This evergreen has needle-like leaves that provide shelter and shade to the ecosystem below. The rimu produces flowers that eventually give way to small, circular fruits.


Rimu asserts its dominance across various habitats, adapting to various climates and soil compositions. From the lush, damp environments of lowland forests to the elevated reaches of subalpine regions, the rimu is resilient and adaptable in different climates.

Cultural importance

Embedded deep within the heart of Māori culture, rimu is a  treasure used for generations in multiple ways. The tree's timber is a cherished resource, providing sturdy material for construction, intricate carving, and crafting essential tools. Each cut of rimu wood carries the traditions and stories passed down through time, embodying the connection between culture and the natural world.

Ecological role

Within its branches, rimu offers sanctuary to a vibrant array of New Zealand's native bird species. The tree's fruit, a miniature life-sustaining globe, is a vital source of nourishment for many organisms.

Associated Birds

Kākā: Kākā are attracted to Rimu trees for their fruit, which provides a valuable food source for these parrots. The large, fleshy cones of the Rimu contain seeds essential to the Kākā's diet.

Kererū: Kererū are drawn to Rimu trees for their fruit, which they feed on. Consuming the fruit assists in seed dispersal, contributing to the regeneration of Rimu forests.

Morepork: Morepork are attracted to Rimu trees due to the potential presence of prey like insects, small mammals, and birds in the forest habitat the trees provide.

Fantail: Fantails are drawn to Rimu trees for their potential as hunting grounds for insects and spiders. The dense canopy and foliage offer an ideal habitat for these birds to catch prey.

Tomtit: Tomtits are attracted to Rimu trees due to the availability of insects and spiders in the tree's bark and foliage, which serve as a food source for these small insectivorous birds.

Rifleman: Rifleman birds can find Rimu trees appealing due to the insects and spiders that inhabit the bark and foliage. These tiny birds actively forage for small prey, using the resources in the trees.

Yellowhead: Yellowheads are attracted to Rimu forests for nesting and foraging purposes. The dense canopy and diverse insect life supported by Rimu trees could provide suitable conditions for these tiny birds.

Conservation Status

Despite its historical resistance, rimu's place in the natural order has become increasingly at risk. Classified as a threatened species, the species is struggling with a dwindling population and the erosion of its habitat.

Interesting Facts

  • Rimu is one of the longest-living tree species, some over 1,000 years old.
  • Rimu wood, with its reddish-brown colour and fine grain, is precious for furniture.
  • Rimu trees are very effective in sequestering carbon.

Conservation Tips

Securing the future of Rimu requires unwavering commitment. It begins with a  stance against illegal logging, ensuring that each tree can fulfil its role in the ecosystem. Simultaneously, safeguarding the native forests that house these majestic trees becomes paramount, as they serve as a home for countless species.