Last week I received a call from a tree cutter friend who was contracted to remove a special tree, which was growing too close to a building. Not recognizing the species, he had contacted an Arborist who correctly identified the tree as Agathis robusta, commonly know as “Queensland Kauri”.
Native to Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand, this species has a history that goes back to the age of the dinosaurs. A coniferous evergreen reaching massive heights of 200 plus, Kauri has been heavily logged over time, although New Zealand controls harvesting.
A few Kauri’s grow in warmer U.S. states like California and Florida from zone nine south. The wood is highly favored by woodworkers crafting cabinets, furniture, guitars and violins.
I rescued a few choice specimens of this exotic wood from a big dumpster, and I’m turning some fine XXL Yarn Bowls. It’s fitting that the word Agathis is Greek “for a ball of thread (or yarn!), an allusion to the spherical female cone…” After a few months of curing, I’ll be able to start the finishing process and I anticipate a magnificent sheen, exquisite tones and grains in this beautiful wood. Snap one up –these go fast!