Talking Trees

A Blog by John Halkett

Category: Uncategorized

Blue quandong – bush tucker and jam

Bushy trees growing on the banks of the Fitzroy River

What is a blue quandong (Elaeocarpus angustifolius) tree? Also called the blue marble tree or blue fig, though it is not a type of fig. Quandong is a corruption of guwandbang, a word of the Wiradjuri aboriginal people of Australia, is a tall, elaboratively buttressed, fast growing evergreen tree. It grows from South East Asia to the south of Queensland and northern New South Wales, preferring rainforests and the banks of streams. Quandong trees can also be found in New Caledonia

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False beeches still evoke tales of Gondwanaland and exploration

New Zealand beech forest.

Southern beeches, or Nothofagus, are a genus of 43 species of trees and shrubs native to the Southern Hemisphere and found in southern South America, southeast Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and New Caledonia. They are sometimes dominant in temperate forests in these regions, and were once a feature of coastal regions of Antarctica. Although separated by 10,000 kilometres of Pacific Ocean from eastern Australia and New Zealand, southern beech occurs along the west coast and

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Jungle trees and Pope Francis

Fig (Ficus spp.) tree in front of a Catholic church.

Recently been working in Peru where there is much excitement about the upcoming visit by Pope Francis in this almost universally Catholic country. Also of course Peru is famed as Amazon jungle country. Peru is the fourth largest tropical forest country on the planet. Half of Peru’s land base is classified as forest, the vast majority of which is in the Amazon basin. Its Amazon forests are one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Deforestation in Peru has traditionally been very low

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Stone pines – feature of Rome

Stone pines amongst the remains of ancient Rome.

Just back from working in Rome. Many would say that the defining feature of the place is the colosseum and other ruins from Roman times. Sure they are impressive, but a more universal feature of the city is the extensive plantings of stone pine as street and decorative trees. These highly manicured trees give Rome a distinct look – more so in my opinion that the remnants of Julius Caesar and his mates.

Stone pine (Pinus pinea) also called Italian stone pine, umbrella pine and parasol

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