Majesty by the side of the road
by JENNA ROSE
16th March 2021
WELCOME TO Meeting with Remarkable Trees.
I have borrowed the title from Thomas Pakenham’s book that reflects on the character of the old, the sacred, the mysterious and the poetic through 60 of his favourite trees.
Unbeknown to many, trees serve us way beyond the comfort of shade on a hot day or ascetically pleasing additions to a garden.
Through 17 products derived from trees, they provide for over 5,000 of our daily commodities from mobile phone screens (cellulose acetate) to strengthening concrete (lignin).
Because of this, mono-culture plantations are a massive global industry predominantly operated by multinationals in collaboration with governments.
Our world forests are under threat and with the climate in crisis, attention is due.
On the flip side, much is now being discovered about the importance of diversity in old-growth forest and how trees communicate via a vast underground network.
Interest is growing, and trees, just like us, are becoming recognised as deeply fascinating individuals wholly reliant on their environment for survival.
In my experience, fostering a relationship with the trees based on curiosity and connection has been a necessary step towards creating personal climate-crisis solutions rather than being overwhelmed by the bigger picture.
I want to share this journey with you by seeking out and presenting the bold, the beautiful, the humble and the dignified in the Manningham’s community.
Do you have a tree favourite tree in your own garden or a tree you are fond of in your area?
Please email me at the address below.
I’d love to connect with you and hear your story.
There is no set criteria.
Large, small, young or old, character is all that matters.
Let’s celebrate Manningham’s forest.
By way of introduction then, meet March’s beauty.
Just down from the corner of Park Road and Feversham Avenue in Park Orchards, resides a tall and elegant eucalypt, who has taken an approximate 150 years to reach maturity.
At a distance she is well-balanced, neither thick in canopy nor thin, but just enough to see her graceful arms reaching up.
As I approach, a delightful mess of shredded skin crunches underfoot.
Her girth is furrowed with age-old protective layers, and looking up, her formidable branches carry the elegance and colour typical of early Victorian paintings: dark shadows highlighted with soft, silvery greys.
Creamy smoothness that merges into the blue-green tone of the canopy.
There are cavities emerging from some of her branches; a borer making a home, or larger hollows resulting from a branch felled by stormy weather.
Residing in deep time, it will be decades before any such borers outdo the tree.
Meanwhile,larger hollows provide nesting sites for our native parrots, cockatoos, and owls.
(On that note, if you need to trim or remove a tree, consider the possibility of providing a nesting site.
The hollows take decades to develop and a good arborist can advise and trim your tree accordingly).
In all, this Faversham resident presents a lovely impression of the many unique characteristics of Australia’s eucalypts.
As I watch and listen, I ponder what the breeze would do without long, slithery greenery to play with.
How would our days be without wind in the trees, and what would stories be without the touch of leafy whispers?
To share your favourite tree, email email@example.com.
Jennah is captivated by the quiet, unassuming presence and of trees.
She is currently training to facilitate Forest Therapy and working towards a PhD about how we relate to the natural world.