The scribbly dialect zigzags around in a seemingly random and indecipherable pattern.
A standout feature of the spectacular forests of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney is the extensive stands of scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma), particularly in areas of poor soils on the typical sandstone country of the region. The trunk of each scribbly gum is a work of art fashioned by nature.
Scribbly gum is usually a small tree, frequently of very poor form 12 to 15 metres in height and 30 to 70 centimetres in diameter. On better sites in its northern distribution the tree may obtain a height of 25 metres.… Read more “Scribbly gum works of art fashioned by nature”
Recently I was fortunate to have had a tree adventure in Neverland, where I was privileged to spend some time with Peter Pan and Wendy. True! Neverland is a property in the Illawarra region of NSW, and is the home of Peter and Wendy McAra, better known as Peter Pan and Wendy.
They are both distinguished retired academics, and although you wouldn’t think so to look at him Peter is also a much celebrated author of numerous romantic novels and stage plays. But in addition to these interests, and perhaps best of all, Peter and Wendy are red cedar enthusiasts with a red cedar plantation and area of native… Read more “The red cedars of Neverland”
The realm of the Siberian larch.
The largest forested region on the planet is the boreal coniferous tract, which accounts for about a third of the Earth’s total forest cover and dwarfs tropical rainforests. Boreal forests blanket a swathe around the Arctic Circle, across Alaska and into northern Canada. They cover about eight million square kilometres of Siberia alone, where they are known as the taiga. Vast amounts of carbon are lock up there, with so much biomass that worldwide levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen fluctuate markedly in time with northern seasons. This is the realm of … Read more “When it’s cold the tough get going”
Lodgepole pine is a coniferous linchpin of forest ecosystems across a vast area that encompasses the western Canadian province of British Columbia and runs down the Rocky Mountains into the United States of America. It is a highly adaptable tree that can grow in all sorts of environments, from water-logged bogs to dry sandy soils.
Tall, straight and slender, it takes its name from the use of Canada’s first people for tepees, and by subsequent settlers for the construction of buildings. Also, in the spring, indigenous Canadians would strip off long ribbons or ‘noodles’ of the sweet succulent … Read more “From tepees to a mainstay of Canada’s timber industry”
The world’s lightest hardwood continues to be widely grown. Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) is a large, fast-growing tree native from southern Mexico to southern Brazil, but can now be found in many other countries, including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Solomon Islands.
Balsa trees can establish themselves in forest clearings or on abandoned agricultural fields and grow extremely rapidly. Their speed of growth accounts for the lightness of the wood, which has a lower density than cork. Trees generally do not live beyond 30 to 40 years. Balsa is widely cultivated … Read more “From primitive rafts to speedy bombers”
Rubber trees (Hevea bransiliensis) are tall deciduous trees growing to a height of up to 45 metres in the wild, but cultivated trees are usually much smaller because drawing off latex restricts growth. The inner bark oozes latex when damaged.
Native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, rubber trees where originally called caoutchouc, from the indigenous cauchy, or ‘weeping wood’. The rubber tree is a member of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family. Its creamy latex is a suspension in water of about 50 per cent rubber ready to be excluded and quickly… Read more “Rubber … from the Spanish Court to pneumatic tyres”
My sixth book: By the light of the Sun: Trees, wood, photosynthesis and climate change has now been published. The mission of this book is to detail how to better harness the power of the products of photosynthesis to offset adverse climate change. Specifically this book asserts that trees and forests, plus wood products, will be even more important in assisting to tackle climate change, and in contributing to a sustainable energy and carbon neutral future.
This book details how trees and forests will be a critical ingredient in the search for a zero net carbon emissions future. Not only do trees… Read more “New Book Now Available”
This is a bit of advanced warning about my new book soon to be published. By the light of the Sun: Trees, wood, photosynthesis and climate change is about how, through the miracle of photosynthesis trees and wood, can confront climate change.
The aim of this upcoming book is to detail how to better harness the power of the products of photosynthesis to offset adverse climate change. Specifically this book asserts that trees and forests, plus wood products, will be even more important in assisting to tackle climate change, and in contributing to a sustainable energy and carbon neutral future.
This… Read more “By the light of the sun”
The only surviving eucalypts from the natural forest in the garden are two twin red gums perched up on the cliff behind the Opera House on the Bennelong lawn. No doubt they were mere saplings in 1788 when the 11 tall, wooden ships of the First Fleet arrived in Sydney. Incredibly, this Bennelong twins alone have survived so close to the city. Referring to them, Ashley Hay (Gum, 2002 Duffy & Snellgrove, Potts Point, NSW, Australia.) wrote:
The view from [its] crown began to change from the canopies of other eucalypts growing along the land’s ridges and streams, from clear distance running
… Read more “Red gums sentinels to First Fleet arrival”
Paulownia is a deciduous hardwood tree native to parts of Asia, notably China, and is well known for its vigorous growth and capacity to be grown over short rotations. Its timber is noted for its workability and outstanding strength to weight ratio.
Paulownia timber is light in colour, with a gradual transition from sapwood to heartwood. The timber has a low density (260-350 kilograms per cubic metre, at 15 percent moisture content). It is a straight grained, soft timber which is easy to air dry. After drying the timber is stable unless a notable proportion of pith is present.
Paulownia timber … Read more “Chinese paulownia trees in Australia”