Common Name(s): Swamp kauri, ancient kauri
Distribution: New Zealand
Average Dried Weight: 34.0 lbs/ft3 (540 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness: 730 lbf (3,230 N)
Comments: These kauri trees are thousands of years old—with logs being further preserved underground for many more thousands of years. The massive trees were buried with a seemingly violent and sudden force, possibly in a large storm, tsunami, or flood. (Curiously, New Zealand is located right at the boundary of two major tectonic plates.) The bizarre circumstances leading to the swamp kauri’s burial bears a striking similarity to many flood accounts of early civilizations, where “all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11).
Resin canals: absent
Tracheid diameter: medium
Grain contrast: low
Parenchyma: none; contains resinous tracheids (resin plugs) with dark reddish-brown contents which look nearly identical to diffuse parenchyma
Lookalikes/Substitutes: Not to be confused with karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), a completely unrelated Australian hardwood with a very similar common name.
Notes: Reported to have a distinct taste (but no odor).