Huon Pine

Huon Pine is the oldest living tree in Australia, second oldest in the world (after North American bristle cone). It can live for 3,000 years, that means some of them are older than the invention of Greek democracy by Cleisthenes at 507B.C. They only grow very slowly in the cool temperate climate in Tasmanian, averaging just 1 millimetre in girth per year; and they start to reproduce until 600 to 800 years of age. The timber has a very high oil content, which renders it impervious to insects, waterproof, and imbues it with its characteristic sappy perfume. The retrieval of stumps left over from old logging led to the discovery of tons of ancient buried Huon pine logs, some dated at 38,000 years old and still intact despite being buried in the damp earth at that time.

Currently 85% of remaining Huon Pine forests are conserved in National Parks while 15% is managed by Forestry Tasmania for salvage. It is estimated that the supplies of salvaged dead timber will last for another 2 generations.

However Professor Tim Brodribb from the University of Tasmania is one of those concerned about what carbon dioxide emissions could mean for the giant tree.
“If the emissions continue to rise as they are at the moment, then this species [Huon pine] and a lot of species in Tasmania will be extinct in 100 years for sure,” he said in an article Huon pine trees live for 3,000 years but climate change could wipe them out in the next 50

Material type: Wood

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