There’s a strange feeling of pride mixed with wonder that overcomes you when reading Australia’s Remarkable Trees. The fact that these sometimes oddly shaped, ancient relics are unique to the landscape and history of Australia garners a sense of self-satisfied pride – that our country and its collection of organic foundations just can’t be matched.
Fifty of Australia’s oldest, largest and most unusual trees are profiled, illustrated with stunning photography by Kimbal Baker, who travelled more than sixty thousand kilometres to capture them all. Among these is the 120-million-year-old Wollemi Pine species, whose discovery was described as the “equivalent of finding a small dinosaur alive on Earth.” Another, the bulging boab tree in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is used by locals to store water.
Significantly, the trees also provide an important link to our history. As author Richard Allen informs us, the coolibah tree at Cooper Creek, Queensland was the site for buried provisions for explorers Burke and Wills. While this book may harvest feelings of self-satisfaction for our botanical assembly, it is also certainly a celebration of our great trees and their stories.
Richard Allen and Kimbal Naker, Miegunyah Press, paperback, 2010, 272 pp, RRP $44.99.