In the Williams House front garden of is a fine example of a native pohutukawa tree, (Metrosideros excelsa). This tree is often referred to as New Zealandís Christmas Tree due to the crimson flowers that appear in December. You will also find pohutukawa trees standing all along the beach front on Marsden Road.
Pohutukawa belong to the myrtle family that includes eucalypts, which are the main natural foods of the Australian brushtail possum. Unfortunately this introduced animal to New Zealand, therefore feeds on pohutukawa. Due to their voracious appetite and lack of predators opossums destroy a number of trees.