Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kerr...rash!

G’day,
Conditions seem to have been just right for ‘widowmakers’ around here lately.

This big old Apple Box on the golf course was the first to drop a huge limb from up high.


Then, a little later on the same day, a youngish Red Gum at the neighbour’s place across the road was next.

Firewood all round, and no doubt in due course various birds or possums will utilise the hollows that inevitably form at the fracture point.

As seems to be usual, the weather was fine, warm and calm. We were at the end of a dry spell – perhaps you could say an 8-year dry spell really. Various theories abound. The most plausible is that the tree is under stress and sheds a limb to conserve water.


The term ‘widowmaker’ is given as a result of the number of early pioneering settlers that were killed when inexplicably huge limbs dropped on them as they cleared their land.

Regards,
Gouldiae








9 comments:

  1. Hi Gouldiae
    I take it that that is wind damage.
    Glad you weren't under it.
    Its windy as hell up here, today.

    Denis

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  2. G'day Denis,
    You were on quick. I've only just uploaded. I think you might have only read part of the entry.
    No, it was calm when it happened. I don't like the wind - does more damage to the greens than the heat!
    Regards,
    Gouldiae

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  3. If memory serves (and it doesn't, often!) Judith Wright captured movingly the pioneer wife's fears of the widowmaker.

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  4. Hi Gouldiae
    Yes, it had just gone up - a few minute before hand.
    I thought you were just busy and posting only the picture.
    I have since read the story.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  5. It can be frightening to be anywhere near one of these when it comes down. Am I right that some trees are more prone to this than others?

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  6. G'day Tony,
    You may well be right, I don't recall.
    Actually, it's a bit close to home for me. I've had two distant relatives in the tree felling game some time ago, who were killed by widowmakers.
    Regards,
    Gouldiae

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  7. G'day Mick,
    Yes, the Reg Gum has a bit of a reputation for it. I recall once reading an American item regarding the care of eucalypts in California - they mentioned the widowmaker tendency and advised that in Australia it was illegal to camp under them!
    Regards,
    Gouldiae

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  8. Hi all,
    camping along the Murray River, there are signs everywhere about not camping under the River Red Gums, as they are prone to drop limbs without warning.

    Cheers,
    John Tongue

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  9. G'day John,
    Thanks for visiting. I haven't been along the Murray for years. Sounds like good advice though.
    Regards,
    Gouldiae

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