On Hawke's Bay's Te Mata Peak, a living memorial to our World War I is starting to thrive. Laura Wiltshire reports.
Half a world away from Lone Pine Ridge in Gallipoli, a direct descendant of a tree that stood on it is doing well.
Mike Lusk, who planted the tree in the harsh environment of Te Mata Park several years ago, found the first very small pine cone from it earlier in January.
The tree, Pinus brutia, more commonly known as Turkish Pine, had a long journey to get to Hawke's Bay.
Lusk said Lone Pine Ridge was the climax of the Australians' campaign in Gallipoli, while New Zealanders attacked a site called Chunuk Bair.
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The tree stood on the ridge destroyed in the battle, but an Australian soldier, Sergeant Keith McDowell, collected seeds and took them to Melbourne, where his aunt grew them.
From there, one of the trees was planted in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, before a descendant of that tree was planted on a golf course in Paeroa.
"From there, more seeds were propagated, and this is one of the seedlings from that tree," Lusk said.
The tree is the third to be planted on Te Mata Peak as a memorial, and is dwarfed by a still standing Pinus radiata, which sits next to the Pinus brutia and is known as the Gallipoli tree.
The current Pinus radiata will not live forever, however, and Lusk wanted to plant a replacement before the tree dies, so he got the Pinus brutia from the Paeroa RSA seven years ago.
The Pinus radiata itself was a replacement tree, planted in 1946 after livestock ate the original memorial tree.
Lusk said he believed the original was also a Pinus brutia, but was not sure where it originated, although it too possibly came from the Paeroa golf course.
As for the newest addition to the collection on Te Mata, it is so far so good. Lusk is keen to cut the protective fence away from it in the near future and let it stand in full glory.
He is also angling for a new sign to explain its significance - the current iteration has been made with a bit of wood and a marker.
While showing the tree to Hawke's Bay Today, the tree also had a surprise waiting for Lusk, the first sign of a new generation of trees to come.
"I just saw the first cone, which is a sign it is happy in this rather exposed environment.
"But Lone Pine Ridge at Gallipoli was probably pretty exposed too."