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Mountain Ash graveyard

Eucalyptus regnans

Description:

Mountain ash (Eucalyptus) is the worlds tallest flowering pant. It does not survive wild-fire well and this fire was particularly hot, totally destroying these trees and producing a tree graveyard.

Habitat:

Mountains in the snow zone have a high population of mountain ash.

Notes:

Three years ago bushfires in Victoria devastated thousands of hectares of bush and hundreds of lives and homes. Fire is necessary for germination of seeds and the next generation of trees is beginning to emerge. Regrowth of silver wattle (Acacia) is prolific at lower altitudes but higher altitudes the forest is waiting for the mountain ash saplings to replace this stark landscape. Recovery here is very slow and the sight is quite depressing

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8 Comments

rani.she
rani.she 8 years ago

Its possible if you are at a higher altitude and regrowth is slower, that you are actually in an Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis) forest. These grow in the same region as Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) but above about 1000m, however, it would be very difficult to tell from a photo. A side note, the reliance of Mountain Ash on fire for regeneration is more about light than enhancing germination, the fire is good for the seed bed, but the bare canopy is the key, they will not germinate under a canopy so fire is vital. I have worked in these forests extensively over the past two years, and have been blown away by the fast and vigorous regeneration in these beautiful forests, Mountain Ash saplings can grow us much as 1m a year. A fascinating species in that it needs such devastation to keep surviving!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Not at all sorry martin I misunderstood your previous comment. I really should use my glasses and read carefully. Fixed.

MartinL
MartinL 9 years ago

Yes its good to see the regeneration of most eucalypt forests in these areas. This pic was taken at Lake Mountain which does have healthy stands of E. regnans. I have assumed these are the same species but have not specifically checked the bark and leaves. If you feel some doubt about the ID I will mark this spotting it as uncertain.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Here's a different species in the same area which shows epicormic bud growth 10 months after the fires. http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/109...

MartinL
MartinL 9 years ago

There were tall gums with recovering epicormic growth in some valleys around Marysville. I assumed them to also be mountain Ash but I seem to have been mistaken.

MarcoAntonio
MarcoAntonio 9 years ago

A strange atmosphere! So beautiful!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

'..it is believed that specimens of E.regnans felled during the 1800s may have reached more than 140 metres (Guiness Book of Records), making the species the tallest tree ever recorded on earth in historic times. Sadly, all of these majestic giants have been felled.....Unlike many other eucalypts, E.regnans is killed outright by severe fires and does not regenerate from a lignotuber or from epicormic shoots under the bark. It relies solely on seed for regeneration and can be eliminated from an area by fires which occur at frequent intervals..." http://anpsa.org.au/eregn.html

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 9 years ago

It there was a "Sad" button I would have clicked it. Thanks for the update martin.

MartinL
Spotted by
MartinL

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Apr 28, 2012
Submitted on Apr 29, 2012

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