Early in the 19th Century, a European visitor described the Auckland area as "a vast expanse of undulating country, mostly covered with fern and manuka scrub" (quoted in Cranwell, Botany of Auckland).   








The scrub landscape was created by clearance by fire. If left undisturbed the scrub would regenerate often to forest. It was, however, often favoured as agrarian land, and clearing of it continued. Scrub growing on the impoverished soils that once supported kauri forests has it's own characteristic species - the "gumland scrub" contains the golden kumarahou, mingimingi, tauhinu,switchy inaka and others.

A commonly occuring and recognisable plant community on scrublands is often one dominated by manuka and kanuka.

Examples include the kanuka stands in Dingle Dell St Heliers.