Saturday, 17 May 2014

Antarctic Beech Tree

Walking through the Springbrook National Park on the 'Best of All' walking trail there can be found the most amazing tree. This southern beech tree (Nothofagus spp.) evolved some 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed and Australia was still part of the super continent, Gondwana. When Gondwana split apart today's great southern land masses of Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand were formed.
Most probably the success of it's survival can be put down to the method of reproducing, called 'coppicing' where the tree sends out new shoots radially from the base of the original truck and these shoots eventually grow into clones of the parent tree - forming a ring of trunks which all belong to the one tree.
One could be mistaken for thinking you've stepped into another world. With the trunks of this Antarctic Beech moss encrusted, soaring to 50m, with the mists of high altitude Springbrook swirling, an ancient druid forest has been recreated.

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