Sunday, August 02, 2009


Our Norfolk Pine is famed throughout the world.

I have learned over the years, however, that just because someone has heard of the Norfolk Island Pine does not mean that they are familiar with Norfolk Island, or, indeed, that they even know it exists.

About 20 years ago I was at a Quilt Symposium in Armidale, where there were tutors from the United States. One lady, in a lecture/slide presentation, showed us a quilt she had made based on the Norfolk Island Pine. When someone in the audience pointed out that there was someone present who came from Norfolk Island, this lecturer was quite taken back and puzzled, because she had never heard of such a place!

I have also seen in a quilt magazine a picture of a quilt titled "The Norfolk Island Pines of Maui." It is true that they do grow Norfolk Pines in Maui, but they are rather spindly specimens. They bear little resemblance to our magnificent specimens, because this is, indeed, their home. They are endemic to this island. They have cousins in other islands, and the famous Wollomi Pine, that prehistoric that was discovered in recent years in a ravine in New South Wales, is also a fairly close relative.

The Norfolk Island Pine is a long-lived tree, particularly when it is surrounded by other pines. But from time to time, they do have to come down, because they have reached the end of their life cycle,. In this day and age, they would be dangerous if they were allowed to topple naturally, particularly close to roads and buildings.

One thing that affects them is "root rot." This is a naturally occurring fungal condition, which may have been exacerbated by human activity. It was root rot that had taken its toll on the enormous pine up the driveway, just over the fence in our neighbours' front paddock.

It was sad to see it go. Howard the miller did his usual skilled job in bringing it down safely, with as little damage as possible to surrounding trees.

The logs were quickly sawn, and will provide some useful timber.

It was amazing how much new light came in to both our place and the Murrays.

The front end loader soon got busy moving the massive logs.

Then they were off to the mill at Cascade.

1 comment:

Karen said...

What a shame. We lost a maple tree a couple of summers back and it's like losing a family member, everybody was upset.

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