Jack’s Grove–27 March 2015
In 2010, the family of Duncan Selkirk Welch established “Duncan’s Grove” at CUE Haven by planting 27 memorial kahikateas for little Duncan.
Since then, Duncan’s grandparents, Jack and Adrienne Welch have annually planted memorial trees at CUE Haven on Duncan’s birthday.
Sadly, Jack passed away a few months ago and on Friday, 27th March, a group of Jack’s family and friends established “Jack’s Grove” by planting 25 kahikatea trees in the wetland area adjacent to Duncan’s Grove.
The kahikatea trees are among the oldest trees on this planet having being around in the Miocene era (20 million years ago). They are endemic to New Zealand and are NZ’s tallest tree, growing to 60 – 80 metres in height and living for several hundreds of years–and some live well over 1,000 years.
Kahikatea prefer swampy lowlands where the trees can grow to their maximum height as their roots spread out and entwine with the adjacent kahikatea trees.
The Maori call the kahikatea a whanau or family tree because, like a family, when growing close together in the wetlands their roots entwine and they support each other. This enables the trees to grow much taller than if they were on their own.
As Duncan’s Grove and Jack’s Grove are adjacent to each other, over time the kahikatea trees in both these groves will link up and grow together as a whanau.
Present for the memorial tree planting today and the establishment of Jack’s Grove were Adrienne, Broughton, Mara, Robert, Roddy, Roger, Rosalie, Sandra, Sue and Tessa.
Adrienne holding on to the kahikatea tree planted in 2010 in “Duncan’s Grove”. On her left is one of the kahikatea trees planted in Jack’s Grove.