Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

Western Australia is well known for its attractive jarrah trees. Native to the South West region of the State, these beautiful tall trees (they can grow up to 40 metres tall) have been prized over the years for their wood. A distinctive reddish hue, jarrah wood is hard and durable.  It has been used extensively for cabinet making, railway sleepers and in building work.

However if you visit the forests or walk around local parks you may notice some rather sorry looking specimens – trees that are clearly dying. They have fallen victim to “Dieback” a fungal disease that attacks many Australian natives, not just jarrah trees, but many other trees and plants as well including banksias and grass trees. Basically the fungal spores in the soil (probably introduced by European settlers at some stage) infect the root systems of the trees, weakening them. The trees are then unable to take up the water and nutrition necessary for survival so over time they wilt and die.

 

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Once it has taken hold it is almost impossible to stop though the parks departments are experimenting with phosphite fertilisers to try and strengthen the trees’ resistance to the fungal spores. You can read more about the problem and its management here.

One of our local parks has been particularly affected and we always try to avoid walking across it in case we trample mud around (especially in wet weather). Winston the Schnoodle seemed determined to go that way the other day on his morning constitutional though we kept him firmly on the path! You can clearly see the barren and stark trees contrasted with the verdant healthier ones.

 

 

We also saw some jarrah renewal areas in the winter when we took a day trip down to Dwellingup and did a train ride and nature trail in the local forest (see here).  Hopefully the efforts and conservation work will pay off in time.

I’m not a botanist though I do love seeing beautiful flora whilst out and about. We came across this lovely blue shrub in an alleyway near our house. I think it may be a type of banksia – our elder granddaughter has become something of a flower expert since she started school so I will have to ask her opinion when she next comes over!

 

 

Christmas is fast approaching – am not too sure where this year has gone! If all goes to plan I’ll write up the Banff and Rockies posts before then and I still haven’t made a proper start on Alaska – I’ve taken so many photos it’s hard to know what to leave out!

Copyright © 2018 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “#justanotherdayinwa – Tale of the Jarrah Trees

  1. roninjax says:

    It seems we have some similar tree damage in Florida also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a terrible shame – unfortunately a common problem here 😦 We also saw the damage that the mountain pine beetle has done to the trees in Canada when we were there in August. They are also working on a solution there too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. roninjax says:

        Hopefully progress can be made to help the trees be healthy while balancing the surrounding environment.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That would be s good outcome! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Isabel von Prollius says:

    Very interesting to read about the dieback. I must admit I have walked past these signs to many times but never read them properly. We have noticed Granadilla Park looking worse recently.
    The blue flower is Echium Candicans, also known as Pride of Madeira. I have one in my front yard, you will see it on Monday. They are very hardy, I can give you a cutting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Isabel they were such a beautiful deep blue. What a lovely name too for such a pretty plant. Good that they are hardy if I am looking after them! It does seem to be getting worse in the park – we’ve noticed that too. Isn’t it Tuesday by the way?!

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  3. Trees affected by untreatable diseases are a disaster. We had a number of those attacks in recent years. Right now, it is a bug attacking our ash trees and entire parks and streets are almost wiped out of trees because the only treatment is to cut them… Such a shame. I see that your trees are suffering as well. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There seem to be problems with trees and plants everywhere Suzanne, which is such a pity. When we were over in the western part of Canada we saw the terrible damage caused to the tall pines by the infestation of the mountain pine beetle. We were told that the winters have been much milder than usual in recent years and so the beetles are not dying off in the winter freeze. I wonder what is causing the bug in your trees over in the east? They are trying some strategies in British Colombia to try and halt the progression and are experimenting with some pesticides which hopefully are reasonably friendly to the environment. The other consequence with all the dead wood is increased bushfires not good at all 😦

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      1. You are totally right about trees being in troubles in a number of places. In our part of the world it is an insect that was brought from Asia on transport ship. There are no predators for that insect and it is eating away at the ash trees which were very popular in cities as they grow fast. Also, because the cities often favoured monoculture, entire streets and parks coverage are being wiped out. Very sad. The cities are also experimenting with various forms of treatments to try to stop the propagation of the insects but so far they haven’t found much that is working so to prevent further damage the only solution is often to simply cut the trees.

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        1. That is very sad to hear Suzanne – of course that is one of the negatives of overseas travel and transporting bugs, however unwittingly! Do hope a solution can be found and maybe mixed planting in future would be a better option though avenues of similar trees do look so pretty.

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