This is my first trip to Tassie. I have sat through speeches from the Prime Minister and Premier Paul Lennon and today watched a helicopter carrying Kim Beazley rise above the Tahune Forest Reserve.
What I will probably remember most though,is the sheer size of the trees.
I am still coming to grips with the size of what I have always called black wattle but what is know here as blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon). The Tassie blackwoods are so straight and tall but at around 30m, not tall by Tassie tree standards.
Tasmania has a tallest tree registry with more than 50 individual trees registered.
I was fascinated by the height and girth of the stringybarks (Eucalyptus obliqua) in the wet Eucaptus forests of the Huon valley. I saw perhaps the tallest stringybark in Australia at 87 metres – and shrinking. The tree is dying from the top and predicted to lose about 3 metres in height over the next 5 years.
And Premier Lennon probably included this tree in the 100 million trees that he proudly declared on Saturday would be “protected forever”!
The tallest Tassie trees are the swamp gums (E. regnans) and apparently even taller in Victoria. The world’s tallest ever tree was perhaps a swamp gum felled at Watt’s River Victoria in 1872, however, the height of 133 metres is disputed.
But none of these trees can apparently ever qualify as the tallest Christmas tree – irrespecive of how well they might be decorated.
Anyway, the forests I saw today were extensive, magnificent and very tall.