Monday, November 05, 2018

After the Fires

Back in 2003, western Canberra was ravaged by bushfire. One of the most heavily damaged areas was the Mt. Stromlo observatory and surrounding pine plantations. The pines were mostly P. radiata, a coastal California species which grows very well in Australia- with 2 growth whorls per year, each up to a meter. A small corner of this plantation was P. ponderosa, however.  This Western US mountain species is a slower growing, longer lived species, and is better adapted to survive fire. The fire break provided by the Mt Stromlo access road allowed one stand of ponderosa to survive, and in the aftermath of the fire, the surviving ponderosas reseeded. That 15 year old regrowth has been putting on some extraordinary growth rates. Bike for scale.

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