WTMC Ruapehu Lodge –

and the solitary wilding pine 


The wilding pine on the Whakapapa slopes of Mount Ruapehu needed to be removed – so Sarah and her teddy bear set out to do the job

Some time ago while passing across the western slopes of Mt Ruapehu around towards the WTMC Lodge Sarah Saurus noticed a solitary wilding pine. These are, of course, a disaster for NZ’s natural landscapes so she did her best to break it down but it was too sturdy.

But now that she was back at the lodge as a host for the Teddy Bears Tramping Club picnic weekend what better time than to get the biggest and strongest Teddy to help her fell the tree once and for all.

Sarah and Teddy heading off to fid the wilding pine on Mt Ruapehu
Sarah and Teddy heading off to find the wilding pine

She left the lodge with her helper getting a lift over the rocks that were awkward for very short legs. They carried a sharp saw and travelled over the path Sarah remembered from three years before and found the tree with no problems.

It was bent over as if someone, or maybe the wind, had made a determined effort to uproot it but had failed and although the tree was on a lean it was still growing vigorously.

The wilding pine on the western side of Mt Ruapehu
The wilding pine on the western side of Mt Ruapehu

Teddy tied a rope to the tree and pulled it over until it was nearly horizonal and then it was a simple matter to saw through the trunk.

Teddy pulling on a rope to pull the tree over
Pulling the tree over
Teddy has pulled the tree until it's almost horizontal
The tree now almost horizontal
Teddy holding the saw ready to cut down the tree
Getting ready to cut down the tree
Teddy sawing through the tree trunk
Sawing through the tree trunk
Done! The wilding pine has been cut down
Done! The wilding pine is no more

One more wilding pine gone!

But there are 1.8 million hectares of wilding pines in NZ, which at about 3,000 pines per hectare is 5.4 billion invasive trees.

There are about 2.4 million working age adults in NZ so that’s 750 trees each.

Sarah and Teddy now have 749 to go. When are you going to start on your share?

The top part of the tree in a pot inside the Ruapehu Lodge which is a better place for a pine tree
Inside the Ruapehu Lodge dining room is a nice place for a pine tree

2 thoughts on “WTMC Ruapehu Lodge and the solitary wilding pine 🌲”

  1. A great effort to eradicate these pests.. Presumably too embedded to dig or pull out. Hope there was a copper nail inserted into the stump to properly kill it and stop it re-growing. Hope Teddy got a nice snack of Hunny

    • Hello Geoff
      Thanks for your comment.
      Quite surprising to find a solitary tree such a long way from any pine forests.
      It would have made a big mess to dig it out – but anyway at the moment it’s a non-tree – and we will be keeping a watch on it to make sure there’s no regrowth.
      And yes there were celebrations back at the lodge – more on that to follow.

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