The tenacity of Australian trees to survive in our harsh climate never ceases to amaze me. Our property is steep, the ground rocky with little soil cover and the land is dry. And yet trees grow. What is more astounding is how they will cling to life when most introduced trees would die.
An example is a Red Stringybark (Eucalyptus macrorrhyncha) on our neighbour’s property (pictured above). Knocked over in a storm last year, there are enough roots left in the ground to suck up moisture and nutrients so that the branches have become the new trees and continue to grow towards the sun.
Even more amazing is this Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) in the valley below our house (pictured above). Split in the same storm as the Red Stringybark, the top of the tree is still happily growing despite the fact that it is at ground level, competing for light with all the grasses, and only attached to the trunk by a thin sliver of bark. In trees, nutrients are delivered from the roots to the branches by a thin layer below the bark called the phloem. Similarly a layer called the sapwood delivers water. As long as these pathways are intact this Silver Wattle will continue to live.