Talking Trees

A Blog by John Halkett

Category: Leaves

Purple rain in November

Jacaranda tree, Sydney.

I can’t let November pass without mentioning the stunning jacaranda trees, now so much a feature of Sydney’s cityscape. The jacaranda tree’s hold on Sydney and its imagination is now so well entrenched that the tree is often mistaken for an Australian native. It’s actually indigenous to south America.

The species most commonly planted in Sydney, Jacaranda mimosifolia, was collected and taken to the Royal Gardens at Kew, England, in about 1818. One early source gives the credit to plant

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Kauri and monkey puzzle tree

Magnificent planted Queensland kauri at Blackburn Cove, eastern Sydney.

I have always had a soft spot for Agathis trees. This magnificent planted Queensland kauri (Agathis robusta) is adjacent to the beach on eastern Sydney where I occasionally go for a quick swim before work. It has to be well over a hundred years old – perhaps two hundred. Together Agathis and Araucaria form the Southern Hemisphere conifer family of trees Araucariaceae. Agathis – a genus of thirteen species is generally known as kauri, after

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Boreal forests – it’s cold up there

Main tree species in boreal forests are conifers – pines, spruces, firs and larches – adapted to very cold climatic conditions.

Boreal forests are one of the planet’s great ecosystems. Boreal (meaning northern – they are called taiga in Russia) forest occupies the northern sub arctic zone up beyond about latitude 50 encircling the Earth at the top of the Northern Hemisphere across Russia, Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. The boreal forest belt represents the world’s largest land-based ecosystem and act as part of the largest source and filter of freshwater on the planet. Temperatures in these boreal

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Northern trees disrobe for winter

brussels1

Just had a working visit to Brussels, and was it cold after the emerging summer temperatures in Sydney! The locals know how to dress for one digit temperatures – I just don’t own those sort of clothes.
The deciduous broadleaf trees in Brussels and elsewhere across the northern hemisphere are also transiting into their winter wardrobe. This means shedding their cloak of leaves. This feature of northern hemisphere broadleaf trees is only occasionally seen in the southern hemisphere.

As deciduous

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