Alberton’s old redwood tree got the send-off it deserved this morning – with a descendant of the pioneering Kerr Taylor family in the centre of things.
The tree was planted by the Kerr Taylor family perhaps 150 years ago, and is now a sad shadow of its earlier glory – shed of all its lower branches ready for the roar of chainsaws tomorrow morning.
The redwood, one of two originals in the Alberton grounds, has deteriorated over the years and is now in danger of toppling. A chainsaw gang was the only option left open to the heritage property management.
At this morning’s farewell ceremony Vivienne Wilson, a descendant of the Kerr Taylor family, remembered playing around the tree when she was very young.
Alberton staff member Francesca Lolaiy read work from German poet Hermann Hesse about the inspiration offered by trees, and painted a verbal picture of Allan Kerr Taylor seeing redwoods in California and deciding to plant them on the land around 1870.
Moana Wilton, also on Alberton’s staff, led the gathering in singing Pokarekare Ana before giving a blessing, which was followed by tea, scones and chocolate cake.
Alberton hopes to find enough healthy wood in the old tree to give an accurate guide to its longevity – and provide material for craft enthusiasts