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Did you know?
The Wollemi Pine will be available for sale in 2005/6.
This date has been set to allow sufficient time for horticulturalists and scientists to research and cultivate the plant so as to secure the ongoing survival and conservation of this rare and threatened species.
As the 2005/6 public release of the Wollemi Pine in Australia and internationally is expected to generate widespread demand,
we encourage all potential buyers to register their interest by subscribing to the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club.
As a subscriber, you will receive Wollemi Watch - a quarterly e-newsletter covering the latest product information and research findings on the Wollemi Pine.
Closer to the release date of 2005/6, we will also provide you with details on how you will be able to purchase your own Wollemi Pine.
to the fifth edition of Wollemi Watch, a quarterly online
newsletter for Wollemi Pine enthusiasts the world over.
In this edition we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the
discovery of the Wollemi Pine and feature a key personality
behind the conservation of the Wollemi Pines in the wild.
We acknowledge National Tree Day in Australia and provide
some fun "tree trivia" to impress your friends.
We also feature a quick update from our nursery staff on what
conditions they recommend as best suited to growing a Wollemi
you for your ongoing interest in the Wollemi Pine and don't
forget you can update your PC wallpaper with another fabulous
10 Year Anniversary of the Discovery of the Wollemi Pine
years ago in September 1994, the Wollemi Pine was discovered by
chance by David Noble, a New South Wales National Parks ranger and
avid bushwalker. David was abseiling with friends in the Wollemi
National Park within the Greater Blue Mountains Area just 200km
west of Sydney when he stumbled upon a striking and unusual tree.
to David, he was so taken with the sight of the Wollemi Pine that
he picked a leaf off the tree and took it back home to identify
it. After having little success himself he took it to a botanist
at the National Parks and Wildlife Service where it was thought
to be some sort of fern. His report that the sample came not from
a fern but from what looked like a strange, conifer-like tree intrigued
scientists, prompting David to return to the site of the Wollemi
Pines with key scientists to gather more specimens and undertake
trees looked like nothing any of them had ever seen before. They
were given the working title, the "Wollemi Pines". It
was named after the Wollemi National Park, the location where the
Pines were first discovered. The scientific name Wollemia nobilis
was in honour of the Pine's majestic qualities and the man who discovered
them, David Noble.
Botanists at the Botanic Gardens Trust (Sydney) were able to finally
identify the new genus by comparing the Wollemi Pine to fossil records.
It was confirmed that the Wollemi Pine belongs to the 200 million
year old Araucariaceae family. The only trees like it that have
existed on earth are found in fossils deposited during the time
of the dinosaurs.
The identification of the Wollemi Pine took the botanical world
by storm and many likened the discovery to finding a dinosaur alive
on earth today. The 10 years that have passed since the discovery
have only heightened interest in this ancient and rare conifer species.
The Wollemi Pine has inspired conservations, botanists, artists,
musicians, teachers, gardeners, and collectors the world over.
In less than 18 months, the first cultivated Wollemi Pines will
be released for sale, marking the journey from discovery of this
remarkable endangered species to its global repopulation. As royalties
from the sale of every Wollemi Pine will be invested in the conservation
of the trees in the wild, acquiring a Wollemi Pine for your homes,
gardens and parks is one way that everyone who wishes to care for
one can participate in the worldwide conservation effort. In the
meantime, potential buyers wishing to register their interest in
the Wollemi Pine may subscribe to the Wollemi Pine Conservation
Club at www.wollemipine.com.
those who will be in Sydney (Australia) on September 10, the Botanic
Gardens Trust (Sydney) invites you to take part in its 10 year anniversary
celebrations of the Wollemi Pine. A special luncheon will be held
at the Gardens Restaurant at the Mt Annan Botanic Garden with speakers
including David Noble (on the tale of his discovery), Patricia Meagher
from the Botanic Gardens Trust (on the latest research findings),
and Sally McGeoch from Wollemi Pine International (on the propagation
program). For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Scenes with Robert Humphries
Humphries is a wildlife ecologist who has worked with the New South
Wales (NSW) and Victorian National Parks and Wildlife Services for
the past 18 years. In the past 14 years, he has specialised in the
management and recovery of threatened species. He is currently the
Manager of the Threatened Species Unit for NSW National Parks and
Wildlife Service and chairs the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team.
Wollemi Pine Recovery Team is comprised of representatives from
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and the Royal Botanic Gardens
(Sydney) who manage the implementation of the Wollemi
Pine Recovery Plan. The Recovery Plan was developed in accordance
with the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (under which
the Wollemi Pine is listed as a threatened species) and was adopted
by the NSW Minister for the Environment in 1999. The aim of the
Recovery Plan is to protect the known wild populations of the Wollemi
Pine from decline induced by non-natural sources and to ensure that
they remain viable in the long term.
to Robert, the highest priority for the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team,
as set out in the Recovery Plan, is to ensure the ongoing protection
of the Pines in the wild.
team sets priorities for the implementation of management and recovery
actions as research data becomes available and potential threats
are identified. A major focus of the team's deliberations over the
past two years, has been the increasing danger to the survival of
the wild Pines as information regarding their secret location has
filtered into the broader community," said Robert.
experiences with other discoveries and/or rediscoveries of endangered
plant species and the insatiable appetites for some in the horticultural
world to collect and grow specimens, Robert supports the opportunity
of commercially propagating the Wollemi Pines and making them widely
available to the general public.
is an important measure to reduce the demand on access to the wild
Wollemi Pines. The Pines have generated an incredible amount of
interest since their discovery and I am looking forward to the release
of the propagated specimens," said Robert.
addition to working on the Recovery Plan for the Wollemi Pine, Robert
is involved in the recovery of around 300 threatened species and
endangered ecological communities across the Sydney Basin. His team
of threatened species officers assist Councils in their assessment
of the impact these species have through the development of control
tuned to hear more about people like Robert who are working to conserve
and protect the Wollemi Pine for current and future generations
Celebrates National Tree Day
equivalent to Arbor Day is National Tree Day which is held every
July and marks the nation's largest community tree planting day.
The Organisers, Planet Ark, estimate that over 1 million native
trees were planted on Tree Day on Sunday July 25 adding to the 6
million planted since the event began in 1995.
year the event motivated more than 225,000 volunteers ranging from
councils, schools, environmentalists and celebrities who united
in an effort to "Green up" Australia. Schools Tree Day
held on July 23 aims to gain greater involvement of Australia's
youngest community members.
Tree Day allows the Australian community to focus on the part that
trees play in their lives and their future as well as actively participating
in helping to protect and rehabilitate our unique environment.
Days/Tree Days are now recognised in more than 50 countries, according
to Australia's Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).
Whether it be called, Greening Week in Japan, Tag des Baumes in
Germany or be it Tree Loving Week in Korea, it allows individual
communities to work together to take part in the "Greening
up" of the world.
Wollemi Pine will no doubt become an important symbol of Tree Days
in both Australia and internationally when it is released at the
end of 2005. By planting the Wollemi Pine people will not only be
contributing to rehabilitating the environmental but also repopulating
an endangered species and ensuring the Wollemi Pine's long term
more on National Tree Day
more on Arbor Days around the world
Pine Conservation Club: Where Can I Grow a Wollemi Pine?
of the most commonly asked questions from Wollemi Pine Conservation
Club members is where people can grow a Wollemi Pine. Here is a
response from Kate Murray who is the Project Officer at the nursery
growing the Wollemi Pines in Australia.
are delighted with the versatility and hardiness of the Wollemi
Pine. Not only are they very beautiful and striking in appearance,
but we have found them easy to grow, drought hardy and pest and
disease resilient. We believe that the Wollemi Pine will grow in
a wide range of locations, from outdoors in the full sun to indoors
in air-conditioning, and in a wide range of climatic regions. The
Wollemi Pine will make an excellent plant for homes, gardens and
parks throughout the world.
already know that the Wollemi Pine will survive a range of temperatures
from -5 °C to 45 °C (23 °F to 113 °F) and we think
it could even be hardier than this. Not only has it survived through
ice ages and many millions of years, but Wollemi Pine relatives
such as the Monkey Puzzle, Hoop and Bunya Pines grow in climatic
conditions ranging from freezing to very warm and humid. We are
currently running trials that will test the Wollemi Pine in a range
of extreme climatic conditions.
native habitat for the Wollemi Pine is a sandstone canyon in a ferny,
warm temperate rainforest. The soil has poor structure and is very
shallow. The levels of nutrients are low, the soil is extremely
acidic and there are patches of highly saline soil. The light level
is very low, with less than 10% ambient light. As these conditions
would be inhospitable for most plant species, we believe that the
Wollemi Pine would be very tolerant of a wide range of growth conditions.
trials have shown that Wollemi Pines adapt well to growth in low
light environments (e.g. in a home or office) to high light (including
the full sun). The Wollemi Pine's root growth is strong, but not
so vigorous that plants will require frequent re-potting or will
be invasive in the garden. They can also be maintained in a container
almost indefinitely which is great news for those who do not have
the space to plant a Wollemi Pine in their garden. In optimal conditions,
the growth rate for the Pine is approximately 0.5 metres per year
for smaller sizes, and 1.5 metres per year for larger sizes.
Wollemi Pine responds well to fertiliser and can be pruned and shaped
at any time of the year to become bushier. They are strong plants
with flexible stems and leaves that are not easily damaged, so we
also expect them to be wind tolerant. Preliminary results indicate
that they are also relatively salt tolerant, and could be planted
by the ocean, just like other members of the family e.g. Norfolk
people mistakenly think the Wollemi Pine looks like a traditional
pine tree with needles. This is not the case. It is a beautiful
conifer with unusual dark green, soft frond-like foliage. The tree
produces three different types of foliage, depending on age and
position in the tree. In general, the narrow triangular leaves are
arranged in two opposite ranks. The new foliage is a fresh apple-green
colour and deceptively delicate looking. The older blue-green foliage
contrasts vividly with the new foliage, providing a structural and
textural backdrop to any environment.
Pines have an unusual and interesting growth habit that will make
growing your Wollemi a daily journey of discovery. For instance,
during colder weather, the Wollemi Pine enters a dormant mode in
which each of the growing buds develops an attractive pink waxy
coating. The bark is also unique and in the mature plants, it resembles
believe the best uses for the Wollemi Pine will be as a perfect
indoor and patio plant, unique gift and great feature tree for large
gardens and parks. We are planning to have a range of product available
from small pot plants that will be about 4-6 months old to large
trees that are up to 3m and 6-7 years old. The first release of
Wollemi Pines will be available from the end of 2005, so stay tuned
for more updates.
more frequently asked questions
the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club registers your interest
in purchasing a Wollemi Pine when they are released in 2005/6.
File: Tree Trivia
* Trees first appeared on earth long before the dinosaurs did -
about 400 million years ago.
* Trees are the largest of all living things - some species can
grow 100 metres tall and weigh 600 tonnes.
combat the greenhouse effect and slow the effects of global warming.
* Trees soak up carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for us to breath.
* Car owners need to plant 7 trees every year to counter the greenhouse
emissions of their cars.
* Trees attract native plants, flowers and wildlife to an area by
providing both food and shelter.
* Trees help prevent soil erosion and landslides.
* Trees improve water quality by acting as a filter to unwanted
nutrients and pesticides.
* Trees can prevent soil salinisation and provide soil enrichment
by converting nitrogen into nitrates.
* Trees produce a great range of edible fruit and nuts including
apples, bananas, mangos, avocados, macadamias and Brazil nuts.
* Many trees can outlive humans, and some can for live more than
See the Planet Ark web site for more Tree Trivia
to experience the Wollemi Wilderness? Download
your own Wollemi wallpaper >> Click
Jaime Plaza (Botanic Gardens Trust),
Planet Ark and Blue Mountains