From Ashes to Giants

Category: About Giant Trees

Eucalyptus regnans, E. delegatensis and E. obliqua are of the Ash group of eucalypts that grow in wet sclerophyll forests and regenerate from fire. Following fire, the seedlings establish from seed in great numbers and compete for light; the tallest and straightest becoming dominants of the forest while the smaller trees die out over time.

It is likely that it takes at least 100 years to reach the great heights and more than 300 years to reach the massive girth of a giant tree, which means that these trees must survive disturbance such as future fires and wind throw. Many big trees in mature wet forests have been cut short by wind, the tops of the trees literally blown out, as a process of weathering, fungal rot and old age. The age of the oldest Giant Tree is not known, as internal rot makes aging eucalypt trees very difficult, but it is thought that they can live for at least 500 years from dendrochronology and carbon isotope studies (Wood, 2010).