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The Tree

posted 7 Mar 2017, 17:17 by Peter Harney   [ updated 8 Mar 2017, 16:09 ]
The tree itself is magnificent and the sight of large dominant conifers in full rainforest can be a new and unexpected experience. The dome shape of its uppermost foliage is iconic and the massive bunya cones are spectacular.

The greater Araucariaceae family, literally like
something out of Jurassic Park, were distributed
almost worldwide during the Jurassic and Cretaceous
periods, becoming entirely extinct in the northern
hemisphere toward the end of the Cretaceous and now
found exclusively in the southern hemisphere,
survived by approximately 41 species across three genera. Other members of the family include the iconic Kauri of New Zealand , the Norfolk Island Pine and Australia’s other ”living fossil” the Wollemi Pine.

few things say ancient like a Bunya Pine.

It is an emergent species in rainforest and is confined to Queensland, where it occurs mainly between Nambour and Gympie and west to the Bunya Mountains, with a small occurrence in north Queensland on Mt. Lewis and at Cunnabullen Falls.

Although its timber has been discovered to be ideal for use in the production of acoustic musical instruments, its real potential comes in its already ancient role as a human food source.

Like so much of Australia' indigenous history, the true and full history of the Bunya Nut Festivals in South East Queensland may never be known. Stories of celebration and cooperation, finely tuned to the erratic fruiting of the Bunya Pine, which drew thousands of Aboriginal people from as far away as Charleville, Dubbo, Bundaberg and Grafton.

During January of each year, female flowers form in the top 1/3 of the tree while the sausage shaped male cones form below. Around August – September pollen from the male cones drifts upwards to fertilise the female flowers. The cone starts to develop and is ready to drop in approx. 17 months i.e. around February / March.

The tree has an amazing capacity, due to its leaf structure, to trap and condense available moisture, dropping the moisture to the base of the tree.

Each cone has the potential to produce up to 80 new Bunya Trees The leaves and the bark of the tree are very prickly!
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