Dacrydium nausoriense / Yaka
Dacrydium nausoriense was first described by David de Laubenfels in 1969. It is an evergreen coniferous tree in the Podocarpaceae family which grows to very large heights in its native Fiji where it is threatened by overharvest by the timber industry there.
Description. The species of Dacrydium with sharp scale-leaves, changing abruptly from juvenile to adult form (D. elatum and D. novo-guineense stand apart from the other species, with D. nausoriensis representing a somewhat transitional position). The abrupt change from fine juvenile leaves to the more robust and very short adult leaves is in accord with the scale-leaved species, while the still spreading orientation is the common condition for other species. Occasional specimens of D. elatum and of D. novo-guineense have transitional leaves abruptly marked off from the juvenile leaves and closely resembling the adult leaves of D. nausoriensis. The bark of this new species is virtually the same as in all other species of the group, with large thick flakes, fibrous and brown within but with a tough smooth surface generally well supplied with lenticels and weathering gray. The seeds are also of the usual type showing a slight marginal keel and becoming a rich brown color. The pollen cones seen may not be fully grown.
Distribution. This species is native to Fiji at elevations of 1,450 feet (455 m). Within its range, mean annual temperature is 73º F (23.0° C), with an average minimum in the coldest month of 65º F (18.5° C), and a mean annual precipitation of 103 inches (2,624 mm). Found in slightly open forest on the leeward sides of the large islands of Fiji and apparently of limited extent. Cited collections include Viti Levu — Nausori Highlands at 1,856 feet (580 m) and Vanua Levu — Lambassa, Sarava at 384 feet (120 m) elevation.
Attribution from: David J. de Laubenfels, © 1969. A revision of the Malesian and Pacific rainforest conifers, I. Podocarpaceae, in part. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 50:274-314.