Prehistoric Wollemi Pines saved by firefighters from Australia's bushfires!
This is a short video provided by Guardian News, showing the fantastic efforts to preserve the Pines during the devastating Australian bushfires.
Wollemi Pine Features on BBC Bargain Hunt!
Recently, the Wollemi Pine was featured in a BBC Bargain Hunt Episode. Watch the video below to learn more about how these rare seeds are preserved!
Wollemi Pine to feature in The Stephen Hawking Garden for Motor Neurone Disease at Chelsea 2010
The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association will be returning to the Chelsea Flower Show with a very special design that has been inspired by the work of one of its patrons, Prof Stephen Hawking.
Prof Hawking will be launching the garden entitled the Stephen Hawking garden for motor neurone disease during the Chelsea Flower Show in May. The garden reflects the passage of time through the evolution of plants, starting with some of our oldest plants including Ginkgo biloba and the Wollemi pine.
The lower garden features plants that we might be able to grow in the UK if climate change continues, offering a glimpse into a possible future.
Wollemi Pines Planted at Kew Reach Maturity
The first Wollemi Pine planted outdoors outside of Australia by Sir David Attenborough in May 2005 along with the tree planted in April 2006 by its discoverer David Noble at RBG Kew both now bear male and female cones.
This makes these trees amongst the first Wollemi Pines in the northern hemisphere to reach sexual maturity.
Research carried out at Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney and Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, in Australia shows that female and male cones are produced on adult trees with pollen release from the male cone occurring in spring.
Seed cones mature 1619 months later in late summer and autumn and appear to be produced annually.
Approximately 10% of the seed produced in two consecutive years was viable.
Germination of this seed took up to 6 months - so it could be another 2 years before we see any seedlings appear.
Planting to Commemorate Sir William Gibson-Craig at Heriot Watt University
Heriot-Watt University is based at Riccarton Campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It was formerly the estate of the Gibson-Craig family who were influential in Edinburgh society. Sir William Gibson-Craig was a lawyer and keen plant collector in the 19th Century and introduced many exotic specimen trees on the Campus. He was also a strong supporter of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and was instrumental in ensuring that land which was used as an experimental garden by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society was protected from developers. This site is now the world famous rock garden.
To recognise Sir Williams achievement and also the 200th anniversary of the founding of the RCHS, the Botanics decided to plant 2 trees, one at the Botanics and the other on the Gibson-Craig estate at Riccarton. The Universitys Site Conservation Committee agreed that the Wollemi Pine, the most exciting tree species to be discovered in the 20th Century, reflected the dedication of Sir William and his Victorian contemporaries in funding intrepid botanical expeditions all over the world.
The Arboretum du Moulin Bodin
The recent addition to the arboretum is one of the first Wollemi pine to be planted in Western France.
The arboretum has over 300 trees representing most continents of the world with the exception of Africa. For more information visit www.arboretumdumoulinbodin.eu
250th Anniversary Planting at Kew
On 5th May 2009 Prince Philip planted a Wollemi Pine in Kew Gardens to celebrate the Royal Botanical Gardens 250th anniversary. The Queen also planted a Ginkgo biloba. Both trees are considered to be of ancient origin and constitute living fossils. It is to be hoped that these planting go better than the royal couples last additions to the gardens, as The Times newspaper notes that the royal couples last official visit to Kew Gardens was 50 years ago for its 200th anniversary when they both planted trees. The swamp cypress planted by the Duke in front of Kew Palace is doing extremely well, but it is understood that the Queen will learn only today that the walnut tree she planted was a victim of the 1989 storms.
The next step towards immortality for a tree that was on the brink of extinction
The first female cone has been spotted on a Wollemi Pine at our nursery in Cornwall.
The cone is on a tree that stands at about 3 metres tall and is about 11 years old and was imported from Australia in 2006.
We have seen numerous male cones but this is the first female cone, which could mean that we are not too many years away from the first Wollemi Pine seedling.
Naomi Shantry the winner of the Wollemi Pine trip for 2 to Australia sponsored by Tourism New South Wales and Emirates tells us about her trip
What an amazing Christmas present!
Christmas 2007 brought me my wonderful wollemi pine which takes centre stage in my small flat. Little did I realise that I was to win a holiday to Australia when I entered the competition open to everyone who purchased the pine. In September 2008 I arrived in hot Spring sunshine at the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Well worth travelling ten thousand miles and surely one of the most beautiful settings overlooking the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The guide at the garden was thrilled to learn how the wollemi pine had brought me to Sydney and showed me their most beautiful specimens. I was able to study many more beautiful trees and plants that I could never see in the UK. The huge Norfolk Island Pines towering over the beach at Manley were a spectacular site considering they only grow as houseplants here. As well as marvelling at my botanical discoveries I also fell in love with koalas, kookaburras and kangaroos like all tourists!
After 3 days in Sydney I travelled to the spectacular Blue Mountains with flowering golden wattle and cherry trees in blossom everywhere. I viewed endless mountains and canyons covered in Eucalyptus forests. You may remember the severe bush fires in the Sydney regions in recent years and I witnessed the phenomenon of regeneration and saw abundant new green growth emerging from charred blackened eucalyptus trees.
The highlight of the trip occurred at Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens where by chance I met Jan Allen, one of the botanists who identified the wollemi pine. She was very happy to talk to me and pose for photographs. I was lucky enough to see the waratah festival currently underway at the garden. This beautiful plant flowers for only 3 weeks and is the national emblem of New South Wales. Even better while walking in the bush I saw lots of wild waratahs.
I would highly recommend all the places I stayed and it truly was a trip of a lifetime thanks to the wollemi pine!
Wollemi Pine arrives at Darwin College, Canterbury, Kent
The University of Kent gained its second specimen of the living fossil plant, Wollemia nobilis (Wollemi Pine) when on 3 October 2008 Grounds Supervisor, Michael Woods with gardener Edmund Glean, planted a replacement tree donated to Darwin College by Kernock Park Plants.
The first specimen, which had been donated in June 2007 to the College by Peter Coombs of the Finance Division, had become infected with a fungal root disease and had to be removed in July 2008. The new planting is located amongst a stand of Silver Birch trees to the right of the main path leading from Darwin Road to the entrance of Darwin College.
In March 2008, Prof David Bellamy delivered the annual Darwin Lecture at the University, and at the dinner afterwards, which was attended by some members of Charles Darwins family who keep links with Darwin College, The Master of the College, Dr Anthony Ward made a short presentation in his after-dinner speech about the Wollemi Pine that Peter Coombs had presented to the College in June 2007. It is most appropriate for a University College, named after Charles Darwin, to have a specimen of a prehistoric plant in its grounds.
The Wollemi Pine at Kernock Park Plants has Grown Extremely Well
The tree planted here at Kernock Park near Saltash, Cornwall has grown extremely well in the past 2 and half years. It was planted in April 2006 by Bruce Harnett, KPP's Managing Director and David Noble the discoverer of the Wollemi Pine. You can see by the photo taken when it was planted and the recent photo taken on 4th November 2008 that it has filled out quite considerably and put on around 100cm in height. The tree has had no protection during the winter even though we have had temperatures down to -6 degrees C.
Planting at Cannington Outdoor Activity Site in Somerset
Students on their 2nd year of The Certificate in Land-Based Studies course, at Bridgwater College, Cannington College, Somerset, planted 4 Wollemi Pines at the Cannington Outdoor Activity Site
The planting was done on 9th October 08 under the direction of Andre Gardner Grounds Manager. (Not in Photo) The students in the photo are Matthew Brewer, Louise Lockyer, Marcus Coleman, Michael Wheaton, Cieran Mitchell with the Outdoor Activity Centre Manager Dave Bonstow (standing).
Wollemi Pine Produces Both Male & Female Cones !!!
A Wollemi pine growing in Cornwall is thought to be the first in the northern hemisphere to produce both male and female cones, though others have produced cones of one gender or the other.
Planted in Tregothnan Gardens, Truro, the 10-year-old tree, which was purchased at the Sotheby's auction in Sydney in 2005, has now reached a height of 2.5m (8ft 4in).
Garden Director Jonathon Jones said he was amazed to see around 100 separate male and female cones (strobilus) growing on the tree in April 2008. He describes the male flowers as looking like sausages and the female ones as round pompons.
Customers can now access more detailed tracking and status information on their order by selecting the 'order tracking' button on the www.wollemipine.co.uk home page.
To track your order, simply enter your order number, which can be found on your receipt followed by the postcode of your selected delivery address and then select the appropriate tab to check on the status of your order.
Once your order has reached our courier, you will be able to check its progress via the consignment number displayed in the 'pop up' message using the courier website (link supplied in 'pop up').
UK orders are normally despatched on a Tuesday and take 1-2 working days for delivery.
SIR SIMON BOWES LYON KVCO PLANTS WOLLEMI PINE TO CELEBRATE 20 YEARS ASSOCIATION WITH HERTFORDSHIRE CHARITY
The staff and trustees of Hertfordshire Community Foundation presented Sir Simon Bowes Lyon KVCO with a Wollemi Pine tree (Wollemia nobilis) on Monday 14 July at the grounds of his home, St Pauls Walden Bury, to thank him for his dedication, support, generosity and advice that he has provided during his time as President of the Charity over the last 20 years.
The Wollemi Pine species dates back to Jurassic times and is one of the oldest and rarest plants in the world.
The presentation was followed by a party for around 100 people to celebrate Sir Simons retirement as Lord Lieutenant.
The Foundations new President is The Countess of Verulam, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire Community Foundation exists to tackle deprivation in Hertfordshire and beyond. It is currently the largest non-statutory grant giver into the county and during 2007/08 issued more than £1.2 million in grants to charities and community groups.
The Foundation was set up in 1989 and is a catalyst between the private, public, voluntary and community sectors, encouraging philanthropy and corporate social responsibility within Hertfordshire, aiming to address the social deprivation highlighted in its research. Its vision is to improve the quality of life for everyone living in Hertfordshire. It does this by channelling funding to groups and by building a permanent endowment, the money gained from which being used to tackle need.
Photo 1 Sir Simon Bowes Lyon KCVO planting Wollemi Pine.
Photo 2 Sir Simon Bowes Lyon KCVO planting the tree with help from Caroline McCaffrey JP, Trustee, Hertfordshire Community Foundation. Reflection of Mrs Caroline Bowes Lyon in plaque.
Photo 3 Further tree pic - Sir Simon Bowes Lyon KCVO pictured with (from left to right) Kate Belinis - Trustee, Peter Goble, Caroline McCaffrey JP - Trustee, June Street OBE - Trustee, Betty Goble - Trustee, Mike Master - Trustee, John Peters - Trustee, Caroline Bowes Lyon, the Bishop of Georgia, guest, Patricia Saunders, Marketing Manager and David Fitzpatrick, CEO, Hertfordshire Community Foundation.
Prize Winner Weathers Worst Storm of the Winter
A young naturalist was presented with the prize of the Holiday of a lifetime to Australia - the home of the Wollemi Pine by one of her heroes on the day that Britain suffered its worst storms of the winter.
Naomi Shantry entered the draw after receiving the 50cm tall Wollemi Pine as a Christmas gift from her mother. Ms Shantry, who is a member of Bristol Naturalists Society and an avid follower of the Wollemi Pines bid for survival, likened the storm to those that are thought to have ripped through the canyon that is the only remaining home of the tree in the wild.
This kind of weather must have really tested the trees determination to survive against all odds. Ms Shantry said. She also pointed out that scientists studying the fallen trunks of the trees in the Canyon have discovered that the growth rings showed evidence of a severe wind storm that tore through the canyon in 1800 and another in 1855. The Wollemi Pine planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew would have felt most at home as 80 mph winds whipped through the London gardens.
Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum and Horticultural Services at Kew and star of the BBC TV programmes Trees That Made Britain and A Year at Kew, presented the prize which was sponsored by Tourism New South Wales and Emirates.
Tony holds the unenviable task of deciding whether it is safe to open the Garden to the public, and for the first time in four years the Garden had to remain closed due to the atrocious conditions. Luckily during a very brief respite in the howling wind and pouring rain it was possible for Naomi to visit the first Wollemi Pine planted in the UK by Sir David Attenborough in 2005.
Naomi commented: I am awestruck by the story of the tree. The fact that it was thought to be extinct but had survived undiscovered until a New South Wales park ranger abseiled into the gorge is just remarkable. Richard Harnett Proprietor of Kernock Park Plants growers and distributors of the Wollemi Pine in the UK said When the weather is like this it makes you realise what a wonderful feat of nature it has been for the Wollemi Pine to survive on earth for over 90 million years.
The Lucky Winner
The draw for the fantastic prize of a trip for two to Australia - the home of the Wollemi Pine, sponsored by Tourism New South Wales and Emirates Airlines was made on 11th February at Kernock Park Plants, Cornwall.
The lucky winner of the prize was Naomi Shantry of Bristol.
There will be a presentation of the prize to Ms Shantry on Monday 10th March at 10am in The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum and Horticultural Services at Kew and star of the BBC TV programmes Trees That Made Britain and A Year at Kew will present the prize to Ms Shantry beside the first Wollemi Pine planted in the UK by Sir David Attenborough in May 2005.
5 runner up prizes were also drawn. The winners: Geraldine Gahan - County Kildare, David Harness Lincolnshire, F J Randall Cornwall, Chris Kelnar Edinburgh and Antonia Black Gloucestershire will each receive a copy of the book The Wollemi Pine written by James Woodford and personally signed by David Noble, the discoverer of the Wollemi Pine and a special edition Wollemi Pine lapel badge.
How does the Wollemi Pine help to offset carbon footprint?
Planting trees is one of the easiest ways to offset your carbon footprint and become carbon neutral.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood. Trees can sequester (i.e. absorb) the atmospheric carbon as part of the process of photosynthesis, which enables them to grow.
Through this process, carbon dioxide is converted into stored carbon, and this is why trees are sometimes referred to as carbon sinks. By taking this carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trees clean the air.
"Planting just 1 Wollemi Pine will help to offset over 2% of your own carbon footprint."
How much CO2 will a Wollemi Pine sequester?
This is a difficult question to give an exact answer to due to the fact that no 2 Wollemi Pines seem to grow in the same manner and the first tree was only planted in the UK in 2005. The typical form of Wollemi Pine in the wild is a tall long-lived tree that has a coppicing habit. Mature trees are usually multi-trunked with up to 100 stems of various sizes. The oldest tree in the wild is 1000 years old and has 100 trunks due to the ability of the tree to coppice. The Bill Tree; the tallest tree in the wild is 40 metres tall but this is because it is growing in a canyon. We expect Wollemi Pines in the UK to grow to an ultimate height of about 20 metres in good growing conditions.
To enable us to calculate the quantity of CO2 sequestered we must look to a close relation of the Wollemi Pine; the Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) which has a density of 575Kg/cubic metre at 12% moisture content. The weight of a tree normally shrinks by about 10% in drying so it would be expected that the Hoop Pine will weigh about 630Kg/cubic metre when growing. Green Peace states on its web site that One tonne of carbon in wood or forest bio-mass represents about 3.5 tonnes of atmospheric C02. Without going into atomic chemistry 100 Kg of dried wood contains approximately 45Kg of carbon; equivalent to 160Kg of atmospheric C02
So we must assume that every 100Kg of growing tree would take in 160Kg of atmospheric CO2. Based on the figures above a single trunk of a mature Wollemi Pine with an average radius of 1 metre, being 20 metres tall should weigh 12,600Kg which equates to the tree having the possibility of sequestering 20,160Kg of atmospheric CO2 over 100 years, or 210Kgs per year
Out of interest the average carbon footprint in the UK is 9,400Kg per person per year. (Mark Lynas The Guardian, Wednesday January 24 2007) - So each person would need to plant about 45 Wollemi Pines per year to be Carbon neutral.
Everyone has a carbon footprint - it's your own personal measure of how much carbon dioxide you create and how much you contribute to climate change.
Kernock Park Plants Present Cheque to Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
A cheque for over £21,000 was presented to Professor Stephen Hopper, Director of RBG Kew at The Chelsea Flower Show in May.
The money was a contribution from Kernock Park Plants for the part that Kew played in the initial launch of the Wollemi Pine in 2006. It is understood that the sum has already been earmarked by RBG Kew for conservation work.
Richard Harnett, proprietor of Kernock Park Plants, seen in the photograph presenting the cheque to Prof Hopper with Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum at Kew, said "The introduction of this extraordinary plant to the general public is an example of how sales of the tree can achieve excellent results for conservation and will hopefully be a blue print for the future. We are delighted to have this strong link with Kew".
Silver-Gilt for the Wollemi Pine at Chelsea
Our exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show won a prestigious Silver Gilt medal for its portrayal of the remarkable story of the Wollemi Pine; a tree which grew on earth in vast forests 90 million years ago, but was believed to have become extinct around 2 million years ago.
The garden showed the development and transition of the Wollemi Pine from its discovery in the Blue Mountains Australia in 1994 through to its use as a patio, park and garden plant in 2007 and beyond.
It included the largest Wollemi Pine ever seen outside Australia with a total height of more than 4 metres (13ft) in a Jurassic forest-style setting, complimented by other plants from the same Era, including mature specimens of Cyathea tree ferns, Cycas revoluta and Dicksonia antarctica. Also on display was a large 3D planted representation of one of the only herbivorous dinosaurs ever excavated in Australia, the Minmi. The dinosaur will be on display at Coolings Garden Centre in Kent from the middle of June.
Tom Hart-Dyke Launches Prize Draw at Chelsea
Tom Hart-Dyke star of Save Lullingstone Castle and Return to Lullingstone Castle was on hand at the Chelsea Flower Show to help launch a fabulous prize draw sponsored by Emirates and Tourism New South Wales for purchasers of a Wollemi Pine to win a trip for 2 to Australia. Click here for more information.
Tom said "I know I get excited about plants, but the Wollemi is special. I first saw the tree in Sydney botanical gardens on my fateful plant hunting expedition in 1999 and Ive been obsessed with it ever since. Its great that the tree is now available for the public to purchase and nurture in there own back garden". Each certificate pack supplied with the trees will contain a prize entry postcard. The draw for the trip will be made in February 2008.
Let Us Know What You Think...
As the first trees are due to be despatched to the customers that have ordered the 3 litre trees during week commencing 11th September we thought that it would be a good time to set up a Wollemi Pine Web Log
We are interested in anything you have to say about this fascinating tree and your experiences of the tree. Let us know when you see the first apple green growth, the first polar cap, and any pest and disease problems that you may encounter. This is very much a learning curve for all of us.
If you have any comments on the trees you would like to share with us please feel free. Tell us where you have seen the trees whether it be in the UK or abroad.
We will also be posting various discussion groups onto the blog where you can post questions and get feedback.