More Tree Talk.

In recent times the Red Gums of Gippsland have been re-classified as Eucalyptus tereticornis subsp. mediana, and I quote from VICFLORA

“In Gippsland, forms attributed to this taxon have isolated occurrences on the Snowy River, with its main distribution west from the Tambo River valley to Sale and Macalister River valley at Licola. It grows on riverbanks, wetlands, and plains and low hills away from streams. Once common in this area but widely cleared and now with remnants in poor health.”

Back roads and lanes are a stronghold for these trees, and after good rainfall, and a lack of defoliating leaf-eating beetles over recent years, the local trees are in excellent condition with fresh green foliage. Click to enlarge.

Along this back road there is an example of inosculation, or natural approach grafting that is a puzzle. Usually the reasons for examples of this occurrence are quite obvious, but that is certainly not the case with this one, first photographed ten years ago.

The previous post on the subject prompted another visit to photograph and ponder. Apparently two trees have grafted together along their trunks, but how on earth has one left the ground with its lignotuber now approximately 1.2 metres above the grass.

Two more images showing the trunks fused before again being separate.

There must of course be an explanation, but for the time being it remains a mystery.

Tree Talk.

The Heart Morass is a three thousand two hundred acre stretch of flood plain bordering the lower Latrobe River, which over the last eighteen years has been transformed from a severely degraded state to the vibrant re-vegetated wetland area it is today. This is thanks to the Wetlands Environmental Taskforce and partners, click here for more information. A recent visit with a friend who has been involved and knows the area intimately was ostensibly for birding, but gradually trees claimed our interest, leading to this post. Salinity has had a big effect on the red gums in the country around Lake Wellington, with large numbers of mature old trees dying. In the Heart MorassĀ  the picture is varied, in some areas the old trees are struggling, while elsewhere they are healthy. The plantings are generally looking good, and there are significant areas of profuse natural regeneration. This area is where the river red gum and the forest red gum populations merge, and it is easy to find hybrid trees if one may call them that. On this visit the trees were not in bud to enable identification, that is a project for another visit in the near future. This post covers two main tree subjects of interest from the visit, the first concerns two trees that had been under attack from what were possibly/probably Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. The ground under both trees was littered with small nodules of bark excised from the trunks, one tree had the bottom metre of bark largely removed and lying in a carpet around the trunk. The other had been worked on up the trunk and along the branches, click images for a larger viewing.

In horticulture there is a process known as inarching, or approach grafting. When two tree members unite naturally it is known as inosculation, and along the river in the Heart Morass there are many quite spectacular examples of this natural grafting. It occurs most often in trees with many, often contorted branches, very possibly river red gums which will be positively identified at a later date. Here are some examples, click to enlarge.

In this next example two trees have united.

And here is a graft forming.