Beauty, concealment and fire

“Trees are as close to immortality as the rest of us ever come…”

Karen Joy Fowler

The name eucalyptus is has a Greek origin, Eu (good, true, beautiful) and Kalypto (conceal, hide -referring to the flower bud coverings). Every plant has a type specimen which is used to classify the species. The primary specimen of eucalyptus was collected in 1777, by David Nelson, on Bruny Island during Cook’s last Pacific voyage. The fossil record shows eucalypts first appearing 21 million years ago in NSW. They make up an impressive 75% of Australian vegetation. These trees are a fire hazard, yet as a species, fire resistant. They are prone to explode from ignition of their trunks, but this releases epicornic buds from deep in their bark, to propagate and replenish the species. Leaf litter loads near the base of trees, combined with bark shedding, contribute to the success of grassfires in exploding these often massive plants. These behaviours are an increasing threat to out tree-changer lifestyle, but not to the gum trees. #ahomeamongthegumtrees #letsmakelemonade

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