Cabbage Tree Leaf



The cabbage tree/tī kōuka is one of New Zealand's most distinctive trees growing all over the country but preferring wet, open areas like swamps.

The trunk of the cabbage tree is so fire-resistant that early European settlers used it to make chimneys for their huts and used the leaves for kindling. 

Cabbage tree leaves are not easily compostable. Taking them to the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre as green waste and finding other uses for them, such as mulch, is preferable.


Dried cabbage tree leaves can be tied into knots or bundles to use as firelighters or kindling; the leaves are full of turpentine oil and burn easily.

Baskets, string and rope can all be made from cabbage tree leaves.

Cabbage tree leaves can be used as mulch. An old-style guillotine is great for chopping into 2.5cm lengths for mulching.


The Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre can take cabbage tree leaves as green waste.

If you have dried cabbage tree leaves but no fireplace, consider giving to a neighbour who does. 

Find a local weaver who could take the leaves.


Please keep from landfill wherever possible.