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Trip Report - Rata Street Loop, Naenae

Trip Report – 7 July 2013:   Rata Street Loop, Naenae

Streblus heterophyllus
Streblus heterophyllus.
Photo:   Jeremy Rolfe.
Saturday was wet, so we ran the trip on Sunday, because there was sufficient interest.

From the entrance track at the top of Rata St, we botanised up to the firebreak on top of the Hutt Valley’s eastern hills, and then retraced our steps to return via the first of two loop tracks that merge just before the exit below Wesleyhaven rest home.

The track entrances were weedy because of dumping of garden waste.   Weeds at the lower entrance included montbretia, tradescantia, ivy and an assortment of planted native trees/shrubs not representative of the area.   The road up to the reservoir contained fifteen species of exotic trees and shrubs, including three species of cotoneaster:   C. franchetii, C. glaucophyllus and C. lacteus?

Above the reservoir, mature pine trees feature along the track up to the loop track turn-off to the north.   Despite this, regeneration of native bush was well advanced, with two small gullies containing mature hard beech and black beech, very large Cyathea medullaris / mamaku tree ferns, and Rhopalostylis sapida / nikau, and Syzygium maire / swamp maire.

Polystichum oculatum
Polystichum oculatum.
Photo:   Jeremy Rolfe.
Other plants of interest were:   Hebe parviflora, Streblus heterophyllus / turepo, Polystichum oculatum, and the greenhood orchid Diplodium alobulum on clay banks.

We were concerned by the establishment of wilding native plant species not native to the Wellington area.   We saw small-sized karaka trees surrounded by prodigious numbers of seedlings, epiphytic pohutukawa (unc), Pittosporum ralphii, seedling puriri (unc), and Pomaderris apetala / tainui (unc).

Participants :   Chris Hopkins (leader/scribe), Chris Horne, Barbara Mitcalfe, Mick Parsons, Leon Perrie, Jeremy Rolfe, Nick Saville, Roy Slack.


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