In the South
Did you know . . . Southland's tallest tree is believed to be a radiata pine at the Lynwood Cemetery near Te Anau.
The tree, one of a grove of exceptionally tall pines, was measured at 54.08 metres in 2013 by surveyor David Baird. That's 177 feet for those who prefer the old imperial system.
The tallest tree that is growing on its own is possibly a radiata pine on Ian and Kathi Baird's farm, Bonniefields, at East Chatton. This was planted about 1927 and is 48.09m.
Southland's unluckiest cow was one which didn't say "moo" in time when challenged on a dark night by a short- sighted serviceman on wartime sentry duty in Otatara. No doubt every part of the cow except the moo was put to good use afterwards.
Southland's worst potential weed is Lodgepole pine - Pinus contorta - planted to stabilise slopes in order to reduce erosion. Most planting was on Mid Dome in the 1960s and it is now spreading at an alarming rate through tussock country, downwind. Left unchallenged it will continue to displace the native vegetation, however, spraying, sawing and hand- pulling of seedlings are control methods that are proving effective. Larch, radiata pine and douglas fir also spread rapidly through open country.
Southland's smallest bird is the rifleman. Plucked, two native birds are probably smaller - the grey warbler and the fantail. The redpoll is the smallest introduced bird and the silvereye is the smallest self- introduced bird.
The first meeting of the Invercargill Borough Council was September 11, 1871. There had previously been a town board which first met on September 18, 1861, the year Southland separated from Otago.
* About The South Lloyd Esler 15 Mahuri Rd, Otatara, RD 9, Invercargill Phone-fax 03 213 0404 email: email@example.com
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