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Three tree facts you might not have known

Fact 1: Did you know the smallest seed produces the tallest tree.

The Australian native tree -Eucalyptus regnans (Mountain Ash) is considered the tallest growing hardwood in the world (about 80 – a recorded whopping 140 metres – asgap.org.au) and therefore a claim “it’s the tallest growing flowering plant” on the planet. The average seed size is 1.5 – 3mm in length (www.anbg.gov.au).

When comparing the seed size of the Mountain Ash, to say, seeds of common foods such avocado, mango, coconut, corn, peas etc – how does such a small seed produce such a tall tree?

The Californian redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are classified as “Softwoods” (pines) have also recorded impressive growth heights taller or equal to our Mountain Ash. Pines produce cones not flowers.

Fact 2: Not all termites are destroyers of buildings.

Some like to eat only grass whilst others rotting timber and logs, some species of termites live in live trees and never come into contact with the ground. Then there are those which come to visit………….!

Fact 3: The secrets of bark – Have you ever wondered about the importance of bark to a tree?

Bark is textural, colourful, tactile and sometimes emits odour – often there is a seasonal variation to its appearance; sometimes on the same tree a combination of rough bark and smooth will be present. – Bark offers important clues in the identification of a tree.

The makeup of the outer surface layers referred to as “bark” is anything but simple. Apart from creating a protective layer (cork cambium), which can be thick, thin or somewhere in between and vary in the degree of living tissue, bark is the region where new cell are produced(vascular cambium) allowing the tree to grow; moisture and nutrients flow upwards and sugars flow downwards (xylem and phloem). This region of the tree is vital for the life and vigour of a tree. Any breach in the bark coverage has the potential to permit the entry of wood destroying pathogens and insects. Bark is often very easily damaged.