Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wollemi Pine

Wollemia

The Wollemia is a genus ( tribe ) of coniferous trees consisting of a single species - Wollemia nobilis. This is one of the oldest trees on earth, it has been around for over 200 million years ( the Triassic Period ). It was presumed extinct for over 2 million years when it was discovered in 1994. This is one of the most exiting and suprising of all discoveries. It looks very much like some of the related Araucarias which are also "Green Dinosaurs".
A large, very rare, majestic coniferous tree native to deep gorges of Wollemi National Park, in the Blue Mountains, 150 miles northwest of Sydney in Australia. It reaches up to 100 feet, though on ideal sites much larger to 133 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. It is moderate growing ( average 20 inches per year ) with its yearly growth lasting 2 months in the spring, some records include: 3 years - 5 feet; 7 years - 10 feet; 50 years - 66 feet; 100 years - 100 feet.
This tree responds well to fertilizer. Its estimated lifespan is 1000 years.
This tree does not have much genetic variability and no cultivars occur.
The Wollemi Pine can produce stems from the base.
The juvenile foliage is fernlike, waxy and deep green. The adult foliage is also deep green but is narrow, stiff and long ( up to 3 x 0.2 inches in size ).
Both male and female flowers are borne on the same tree, are small and borne at the ends of the branches.
Grows best in rich, moist, acidic ( PH 4 to 6 ), well drained soil in partial shade ( full sun as well where summers are somewhat cool ). It is very heat tolerant and can tolerate as high as 113 F.
Rated as hardy zones 8 to 10 tolerating as low as 10 F; it may actually be much hardier than its restricted natural range suggest, with claims of even zones 5b. More testing of this tree is needed. It is one of the worlds rarest trees, its introduction into the landscape trade is its savior from extinction.
Propagation is from seed, cuttings and tissue culture.
Almost extinct in the wild, there is an international effort to build up numbers of this tree. This tree yields Taxol, an anti-cancer drug. It is very likely to be grown as a commercial crop in the future however is also an excellent, very stunning landscape tree. One of my favorite trees for sure, really looking forward to seeing more in the future.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.


* photos taken on May 5 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* excellent video found on Youtube



RELATED PLANTS

Agathis

Agathis atropurpurea
A huge tree native to northern Queensland where it is endangered.
The leaves are up to 2 inches in length.
Some records include: largest on record - 200 feet
Hardy zones

Agathis australis
A fast growing, majestic tree native to New Zealand.
Some records include: 20 years - 47 x 23 feet; largest on record - 308 x 120 feet with a trunk diameter of 23 feet ( estimated, such trees no longer exist due to forest destruction ); longest lived - 4000 years ( est. ). It has been planted in Athens, Georgia and trees have exceeded 50 feet in Cork, Island.
The leaves are up to 4 x 0.3 inches in size ( rarely over 1.5 inches on older trees ).
Hardy zones 9 to 12 tolerating as low as 12 F.

* historic archive photos


Agathis brownii
Some records include: 32 years - 67 feet; largest on record -
Hardy zones

Agathis dammeri
Some records include: largest on record - 200 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.5 feet.
The leaves are up to 5 x 2 inches.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Agathis labillarderi
A huge tree native to elevations of 600 to 6000 feet in New Guinea.
Some records include: largest on record - 200 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet
The leaves are up to 4 x 1 inches.
The bark is dark brown.
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Agathis macrophylla
Also called Agathis vitiensis. Some records include: largest on record - 150 x 120 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet.
The leaves are up to 7 x 2 inches.
Hardy zones 9 to 12

Agathis microstachys ( Atherton Kauri )
A very large tree native to northern Queensland.
Some records include: 16 years - 36 feet; largest on record - 170 x 114 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 feet; longest lived- 1014 years.
The leaves are up to 3 inches in length.
The bark is brownish-gray.
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Agathis moori
A large tree, reaching up to 100 feet, that is native to mountainous subtropical rainforest, up to 3300 feet elevation on the island of New Caledonia. It is endangered due to environmental destruction. The paired leaves, up to 8 x 0.5 ( rarely over 3 on mature trees ) in size, are glossy mid-green. Hardy zones 10

* historic archive photo


Agathis palmerstonii
Some records include: 20 years - 52 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 inches; largest on record - feet with a trunk diameter of feet
Hardy zones 9 to 11

Agathis phillipensis
Some records include: largest on record - 220 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet
Hardy zones 11 to 12

Agathis robusta ( Queensland Kauri )
Some records include: 3 years - 17 x 10 feet; 15 years - 75 feet with a trunk diameter of 11 inches; 100 years - 102 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet; 300 years - 200 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet; largest on record - 200 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 feet.
Trees have already exceeded 100 feet in Los Angeles, California & reached 40 feet in Cornwall, England.
The leaves are up to 6 x 4 inches.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 tolerating as low as 15 F

* historic archive photo


subsp. 'nesophila'
Almost identical but native to the mountains of New Guinea.

2 comments:

  1. I've read much about this tree, but its really nice to see some photos of a good specimen on your blog. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interestingly the 2 trees I photographed in DC this year are the first time I ever seen them. Hope to see alot more. Definately among my favorites of all trees.

    ReplyDelete