Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tree News


Meet Centurion, Australia's largest tree. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to photograph tall trees?
Click here for much better pictures by Brett Mifsud. They are a magnificent sight


Tall Trees and where to see them

 While a California Redwood called Hyperion weighing in at 115 m remains the tallest tree in the world, Centurion, Australia’s tallest tree and the tallest flowering plant in the world, is rapidly catching up, having just been measured at 100.5 metres. 

Centurion, a Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus Regnans) can easily be seen on a short detour on the way to the Hartz National Park or Tahune Forest Adventures just west of Geeveston. It is believed to be over 400 years old. Tasmania is home to a number of other exceptional trees. In the South you can admire them in the Styx Valley or the Florentine Valley where there are Stringy Barks around 78m tall but with enormous buttresses. The "White Knights" -White Gums/Swamp Gums or Manna Gums (not sure which, possibly (E. Vinimlis)* which reign in the North East's Evercreech Forest are around 300 years old and stand approximately 90 m tall.  Alas, most of these involve some difficulty of access – dirt roads, isolation, poor services and distance from major towns and cities, but if you are happy to settle for superb trees of around 70m of so, there are also fine stands of Mountain Ash on the Tall Trees Walk at Mount Field National Park.

Base of a "White Knight"from the North East
* Eucalypts are quite difficult to classify and go by many different common names. There are for example, at least 9 different trees called "White Gums" by locals, several "Swamp Gums, " depending on where you live and at least two "Stringy Barks" and several - e.g. the one above, which could be called that, given the messy state of  it's bark.
Fortunately, Rob Wiltshire and the University of Tasmania's Biological Sciences and  Centre for Forestry Values, have just released their excellent field guide, "EucaFlip" which should help in future.

An excellent mini field guide, laminated and which can be used as poster too. Available from bookshops and the museum for around $9.95 There's a similar one "TreeFlip" which includes other Tasmanian trees as well

Talking to Trees
 
There are people who love to hug trees. Now apparently there are also people who like to email them. The state of Victoria gave its prominent trees email addresses so that people would be able to report on their health and status. Instead, people have started emailing the trees themselves with touching and thoughtful messages in which they share their hopes, dreams and innermost thoughts, or just to let the trees know what they mean to them. Read the full story here. I am sure the trees are good listeners, but I wonder if it is a reflection on modern life, that people would rather write to trees than talk to other humans?  I also wonder what the trees would say, if they could answer back.
Nice idea though. Wish I had their address.


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