Turpentine timber is durable in exposed positions and is highly resistant to damage by fire and attack by white ants and marine borers.
Another preeminent Australian tree is turpentine, renowned throughout the world for its durability, especially for use for heavy construction for jetties, wharves and in other seawater environments.
Turpentine is a large tree usually 40-45 metres in height in 1.0-1.3 metres in diameter, but not uncommonly attaining 55 metres in height in a from 2.0-2.5 metres in diameter on optimum sites. The trunk is straight and of good form with little taper up to two-thirds… Read more “Used around the world for construction in seawater”
10,000 years ago, vast cedar forests stretched across the eastern Mediterranean towards Mesopotamia and what is now southwestern Iran.
The cedar of Lebanon or Lebanese cedar is a species of tree in the pine family, native to the mountains of the Eastern Mediterranean basin. It is a large evergreen conifer that has great religious and historical significance in the cultures of the Middle East, and is referenced many times in the literature of ancient civilisations.
It is no exaggeration to say that the magnificent cedar of Lebanon played a crucial role in the development of civilisation. We … Read more “Tree that powered the development of civilisation”
Ironbark trees are well woven into Australia’s folklore. They feature in poetry and essays from colonial times to the present. A common name of a number of species in three Eucalyptus groups, ironbark trees have dark, deeply furrowed bark. They are probably the most distinctive and easily recognised tree of the Australian eucalypt forest and are the source of some of our highest quality hardwoods.
Instead of being shed annually as in many of the other species of Eucalyptus, the dead bark accumulates on ironbark trees, forming the fissures. It becomes rough after drying out and becomes impregnated… Read more “Ironbark trees … part of the Australian lexicon”
The remnants of what was once a more extensive forest.
There are few avenues were people drive out just to see at sunset, but the Avenue of the Baobabs at Morondava draws admirers from all over the world. A dusty road half an hour’s drive north of the town of Morondava on the west coast of Madagascar passes through a stunning grove of baobabs, the remnants of what was once a more extensive forest.
The famous Avenue of the Baobabs has perhaps more than 100 trees in the grove. The species – the biggest and most famous of Madagascar’s six species of baobabs – is Adansonia grandidieri taking its name from two… Read more “Madagascar baobabs – a worldwide attraction”
The tree can also be found in several more temperate regions of Australia.
Silver birch (Betula pendula), is native to Europe and parts of Asia, though southern Europe, it is found only at higher altitudes. Its range extends into Siberia, China, and southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey, the Caucasus, and northern Iran. It has been introduced into North America, where it is known as the European white birch. The tree can also be found in several more temperate regions of Australia. In 1988 the Finish people voted silver birch as their national tree.
Silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous… Read more “Silver birch and shamanistic pee-drinking stories”
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 now New Zealand piece of the once great southern continent Gondwanaland drafted south before the Australian eucalypts evolved, but did, and still does, host a eucalypt ancestor, the Metrosideros trees, including the pohutukawa, or New Zealand Christmas Tree, plus the Northern and Southern rātā trees. So, no eucalypts (or snakes) made it onto the New Zealand as Gondwanaland fragmented – all those millions of years ago.
Talking about rātā trees, hidden in the Akatarawa Forest, near New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, is one of the country’s best kept tree secrets – reported as a living… Read more “Akatarawa giant rātā – a secret New Zealand tree treasure”
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”
Cork oak, Quercus suber a medium-sized, evergreen tree is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses. It is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. It grows to up to 20 metres, although it is typically more stunted in its native environment.
Cork oaks commonly live more than 200 years. Cork harvesting is done entirely without machinery. The European cork industry produces 340,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of €1.5 billion and employs 30,000 people.
The cork is used to make a wide range of products in addition to wine bottle stoppers, including insulation… Read more “More than just wine bottle stoppers”