A fallen branch
The Kauri ricker on the rear part of our land has already attained a considerable height. As is usual for Kauri, it has done so by shedding the lower branches. I have known about that for a long time. But superficially.
The small branch I found below the tree today sparked my curiosity, and I read about it. The ricker (a young Kauri) has a narrow conical shape with branches up the trunk. Except, that they are actively shed by the tree. The small branches have a small swelling around the base. There is a thin core of wood, as my photo shows. When the branch dies (the photo shows the dead leaves in the background), that thin core of wood is abscised leaving no more than a small scar.
Abscision of the lower branches protects the tree from epiphytes (not 100%), and also saves on energy in that the tree has few if any lower branches while having a large crown above surrounding trees.
Finding this abscised branch was the highlight of my afternoon working outside.