03-Mar-2016 -- The sole previous visit to this degree confluence point was way back in July 2001 - almost 15 years ago. Back then, the point was described as being on “a scrubby hillside”.
Since then, however, historical satellite imagery (from “Google Earth”) showed that sometime prior to 2007, the hillside (and a large area stretching to the west) was planted with rows of small trees - presumably forming part of the large commercial forest that’s located west of the point. By 2010, satellite imagery showed that the trees had become quite tall and dense. So I was curious to see what had become of this formerly “scrubby hillside” almost 15 years since the previous visit.
About 600 m of farmland separate the patch of forest (containing the point) from Birchwood-Wairio Road. This land currently contains dairy cattle, though the very high fences around it suggest that - at some time in the past - it was used to farm deer. The point itself lies just 40m inside the patch of forest, which I found to be surprisingly dense, with many downed trees (downed deliberately, apparently to thin the forest). The downed trees made it somewhat difficult to reach the point, even though it was only barely inside the forest.
In conclusion, this degree confluence point demonstrates how quickly commercial pine forests can grow. In less than 15 years, a forest of fully-grown pine trees has grown up around this point. In New Zealand, most commercial forests (including, I think, this one) consist of Pinus Radiata - aka. Monterey Pine. These trees - native to central California - grow exceptionally quickly in New Zealand, with its mild temperatures, but (unlike California) year-round rainfall.