Saturday, May 14, 2011

So what's your favourite Tree?

The other night I posted at the Homage blog on the upcoming World Environment Day (June 5th) pages at the United Nations Environment Program website. THe Tree of the Day page in particular caught my eye. NB: Image and text below from this site.

So what has a tree done for me lately?



The Eucalypt tree is traditionally an Aborigine folk remedy, used in Australian natural medicine. Today, the Eucalypt is used worldwide in pharmaceutical products such as pills, liquids, inhalers, salves, ointments and even in sweets.
It helps relieve symptoms of colds, flu, chest congestion, sore throats, bronchitis and much more.
Next time you stock up your drug cupboard, make sure that you’ve planted a couple of Eucalypt trees for future supplies!

As its the United Nations International Year of the Forest and the June 5th WED theme this year is "Forests: nature at your Service" I wanted to ask you what are your favourite trees and why?

I went through my photos and found these from last year...

at the Botanic Gardens at Mt Cot-Tha last year

The Black Palm - Normanbya Normanbyi - is a single stemmed, large-seeded palm endemic to the Cape Tribulation region of North Queensland. Pinkish fruit - around 280 ripe fruit per tree (according to one source) which ripen over 21 weeks and seeds are dispersed mainly by water flow, cassowaries and small mammals. During my walk last week I came across the amazing sight of these fruit fallen from high up the tree all over the ground surrounding the base of the tree.

This photo comes without notes to prompt my memory... loved these blooms!

Below is a series of images I took when visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne, an hour south-east of the city of Melbourne, in December last year. 

The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is one of Victoria's most precious areas of native bushland and offers nature-lovers the chance to explore 363 hectares of untouched heathlands, wetlands and woodlands. These expansive natural gardens are also home to thriving bird and animal life, including several rare endangered species.

Click on these below to see the various walks you can do there:

I really liked this Diversity garden below. 85 bio-regions from across the continent were represented in this unusual format... plants arranged in rows according to regions making identification
simple and differences easily observable. Light rain was falling for the first hour (chilly for a December day) but my friends and I had a wonderful few hours exploring. With a friend from South Australia, a Melbourne friend and myself from Qld we had an interesting time looking at regional diversity.

Diversity garden

Australia’s landscape is diverse, both in look and botanically, and yet historically, European Australians have tended to characterise the land as empty rather than full. This garden aims to dispel this myth. The Diversity Garden is an abstract journey through the 85 bio-regions of Australia.

The photos I took of these trees below are of Tree Grasses -  Xanthorrhoea johnsonii - the tallest of which is thought to be about 400 years old. From what I understand its a protected species and is generally found in northern NSW into Qld. These trees were a common sight in my childhood on the North Coast of NSW... hour long car-trips to the beach through bushland with these dotted all around hold vivid and very fond memories. 

The Cranbourne Gardens are relatively new... established in the early 80's but far more recently opened to the public.... so much of this Botanic Garden  is in development. What makes it exciting is that it is completely planted out with indigenous species and brings an excellent focus to understanding this heritage - past, present and future concerns.
Comparing the image above and below of the same species highlights the museum-like quality of a garden compared to natural habitat. However, without these 'museums' many would never see or think about species of trees and plants... and so they play a vital role...and increasingly so. This species is itself under threat.

by situ - Atherton Tablelands, Qld

close up of the textured trunk of this tree.

loved the moss growing on this one

So... the question is... what is you favourite tree?.If you want to email an image and text I'll make  up a post by WED, 5th of June. Or if you have a drawing or painting of a tree perhaps.  If I go back through journals from over the years there's quite a few tree drawings to be found. Ive never painted trees but often enjoyed drawing them.

image: City of Nedlands, Western Australia

image: my green australia

Have a great weekend everyone... and hope you remember to notice the trees! 


iNd!@nA said...

interesting to choosing a favourite tree? you might as well as me to choose a favourite child!


i owe a lot to the genus eucalyptus, of course, but there are so many different ones...and then there are other favourites among the European and North American endemics. this is a tricky question!

Sophie Munns said...

Ah Yes India... exactly... really the question should be ...what are your favourites? ...or list the trees you find fascinating... plural!
I must get a sample from you for the WED tree post... Perhaps the link to eh book on Eucalyptus you are featured in ... that wpuld be perfect!
Good to hear from you and also visit to see how your travels are going!

Sophie Munns said...


annamaria said...

I had lots of throat problems as a kid and my parents really did have eucalyptus in our garden- so my mom used to boil the leaves and have me smell them and breathe the steam- it was amazingly soothing, I still remember it with lots of gratitude! and I was so unhappy when my son had same kind of health issues and I had no eucalyptus in my garden! XX

Anonymous said...

right now my favorites are Lilacs. The smell is heaven. But...I do really favor the more tropical ones you are blessed with. Any tree is good for so many reasons. The 11 oaks in our yard provide much needed shade in the hot summers and buffer the sound of the traffic.