Athrotaxis selaginoides D. Don
King William pine is a medium-sized to tall tree, growing to 30 m in height and 1-1.8 m in diameter (2.2 m has been reported). Trees often have long clear trunks with relatively small, tufted crowns. The bole is frequently forked, fluted, buttressed or curved in a butt sweep, and at higher altitudes trees are reduced to stunted, deformed shrubs, which may nevertheless be over 500 years old. Trees of this species are frequently long-lived.
This species is endemic to Tasmania and occurs in the mountainous region along the north-western and south-eastern margins of the central plateau and from the Mt Field Range to the mountains of the west and south-west.
This species grows on sheltered mid-slopes or valley bottoms on fairly deep soils. Less commonly it occurs on steep rocky slopes and exposed ridges. Soils range from wet peaty clays to texture-contrast types.
King William pine occurs in small stands in cool temperate rainforests (nanophyll moss forests), in association with myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii), southern sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum) and celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius). It is also occasionally found with pencil pine (Athrotaxis cupressoides), on stream- or lake-side sites, with eucalypts such as cider gum (E. gunnii) or Tasmanian snow gum (E. coccifera) in subalpine low open forests, and as subalpine open woodland with a dense understorey of tangle foot (Nothofagus gunnii).
Related species: The three species of Athrotaxis are confined to Tasmania. Athrotaxis cupressoides (pencil pine) grows to about 12 m, in the same general area as A. selaginoides. It has leaves about 0.3 cm long, closely appressed to the branchlets. Athrotaxis laxifolia is a small tree, which also occurs with the other species and has leaves intermediate in form. The genus Athrotaxis was formerly placed in Taxodiaceae but Hill (1998) included this family as part of Cupressaceae.
Publication: Ann. Nat. Hist. 1, 234 (1838). Type: Van Diemen's Land [Tasmania], 1833, R.C. Gunn 368.
Names: Botanical—Athrotaxis, from the Greek athros (crowded together) plus taxis (arrangement), alluding to the crowded nature of the cone scales; selaginoides, derived from Selaginella, a club-moss and Greek-oides (like), hence with club-moss-like leaves. Common—believed to be either after mountains near where this species occurs or in honour of the 'King' of the Tasmanian Aborigines.
Bark: Retained over the trunk and down to the small branches as a thick soft and spongy layer, which is longitudinally furrowed and slightly fibrous. It is red-brown when cut but the surface weathers to grey-brown in old trees.
Leaves: Seedling—not seen. Adult—spirally arranged, crowded and overlapping on the branchlets, shed with the small branchlets as single units (short shoots). Individual leaves are 1-1.2 cm long, narrow with a sharp point and slightly curved.
spirally arranged microsporophylls. Females—have up to 25 spirally arranged scales each bearing 3-6 ovules.
Cones: 1.2-2 cm in diameter, with flat woody pointed scales and bearing up to six seeds on the undersurface. Seeds are ovate or oblong with two narrow longitudinal wings.
Wood: Sapwood yellow; heartwood pink to reddish with distinct closely spaced growth rings, very soft with straight grain and fine texture, easily split, density 310-535 kg m-3. It has a distinctive scent very similar to Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica); good bending properties, works and planes readily, seasons easily with small shrinkage. Timber is very durable and has been dated at ages between 1275 ± 105 and 1715 ± 150 years. Present use is restricted by availability, although small quantities are used in joinery and in boat building. Formerly used in mining operations in western Tasmania. The wood is also popular for beehive boxes because it is light and durable.
Climate: Altitudinal range: 500-1200 m; Hottest/coldest month: 17-20°C/-1-5°C; Frost incidence: moderate to high (upland sites receive heavy snowfalls); Rainfall: 1200-2750 mm per year, winter max.
Distinctive features: Large trees usually have long boles, not especially well formed, with relatively small, densely tufted crowns. Smaller trees can be distinguished from other conifers in the same natural habitat by the 0.5-1.2 cm long leaves, rather stiff and pointed, and by the 1.2-2 cm wide cones.
Strobili: Male and female strobili are borne on the same tree, at the ends of short shoots. Males—catkins with crowded,
Athrotaxis selaginoides 1. Adult leaves 2. Adult leaves and female cones 3. Female cone 4. Adult leaves and male strobili 5. Tree, near Cradle Mtn, Tas. 6. Male strobili (S.E.M.) 7. Plant raised from a cutting 8. Trees, near Cradle Mtn, Tas. 9. Bark
White Cypress Pine White Cypress, White Pine
Callitris glaucophylla J. Thomson & L.A.S. Johnson
White cypress pine is a small to medium-sized tree, usually growing to about 18 m tall and 0.45 m in diameter, but occasionally reaching 30 m by 0.9 m. The trunk is usually straight with branch development varying from occurrence over the greater part of the trunk and a dense conical crown for woodland trees, to short branching in the upper trunk only and a relatively flat top for trees in dense stands. The foliage colour is variable but usually glaucous.
This species has a widepread occurrence aross Australia south of the Tropic of Capricorn. It extends from central Queensland to Victoria, over most of western New South Wales, with disjunct, sporadic outliers in South Australia and in southern parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The most extensive stands are in the Tambo-Dalby-Inglewood region of southern Queensland and the Baradine-Narrabri and Cobar districts of northern New South Wales.
White cypress pine is found mainly on gently undulating to rolling topography, but extends to lower slopes and rocky hills, which act as fire refugia, in some areas. The species occurs on a wide range of soil types with the most common having a sandy or loamy surface.
It occurs in a range of forest and woodland types over its extensive range. While large areas of more or less pure stands are common, it is also found with a number of eucalypts such as bloodwoods (E. bloxsomei, E. trach-yphloia), ironbarks (E. crebra, E. melanophloia, E. fibrosa ssp. nubila), boxes (E. populnea, E. conica, E. microcarpa) and red gums (E. dealbata, E. blakelyi).
Where white cypress pine occurs in relatively dense stands it suppresses herbaceous ground cover, and its own litter forms a thin mulch over the ground surface. In these conditions the stands will not normally carry fire, but more open stands or those with a large component of eucalypts are more easily burnt and, because this species is very fire sensitive, it may be eliminated from such stands. Susceptible to grazing by stock and rabbits.
Related species: There are 19 species of Callitris, which are endemic to Australia and New Caledonia (Hill 1998). Of these white cypress pine is closest to C. gracilis, C. tuberculata, C. columellaris and C. intratropica. This species was previously referred to as C. glauca (see Thompson and Johnson 1986).
Publication: Telopea 2, 731-736 (1986). Type: Noonah Vale, c. 23 km SW of Garah, New South Wales, 5 Oct.1978, K.L. Wilson 1942.
Names: Botanical—Greek kallos (beauty), plus treis (three), alluding to a beautifully formed tree with leaves in whorls of three; Latin glaucus (bluish grey or bluish green), Greek phyllon (leaf) alluding to the glaucous colour of the foliage. Common—white refers to the colour of the foliage; cypress alludes to the similarity of the adult foliage to that of the true cypresses (genus Cupressus).
Bark: Persistent to the small branches, hard, deeply furrowed and dark grey, but rather lighter on large trees and often
carrying patches of lichen. The cut blaze is pinkish brown with concentric lines of resin cavities.
Leaves: Cotyledons—two, sessile, linear about 1 X 0.1 cm. Seedling—in alternating whorls of 3-4, linear about 1.2 X 0.1 cm, triangular in section and acutely pointed. Adult—in alternating whorls, they are joined to the stem for most of their length, forming rounded ridges 0.2-0.6 cm, long, with only the pointed tips free; stomata occur mainly in the channels between the adherent parts; there is a small vascular strand at the base of each leaf, with a resin cavity above it.
Strobili: Monoecious. Males—borne in threes at the ends of branchlets, cylindrical to ovoid, 0.6-1 cm long, bearing numerous small scales in whorls of 3, each with 2-4 pollen cells. Females—borne on slender stalks on the lower parts of the branches, with 2 whorls of 3 scales, each with several ovules in longitudinal rows on the upper surface.
Cones: Mature cones are spherical, dark brown, 1-2 cm in diameter opening to 1.5-3 cm and consisting of 3 large and 3 small alternating woody scales, slightly wrinkled on the outer surface and bearing a small point near the tip. The cones have a single columella and 18-36 seeds; the number and weight of seeds vary with cone size. The seeds are light brown, 2 or 3 winged, 0.6-0.8 cm wide.
Wood: Sapwood pale and wide, not susceptible to Lyctus attack; heartwood light yellow to dark brown with frequent dark brown knots, characteristic resinous scent and slightly greasy feel, fissile, fine texture, very durable, resisting decay and attack by termites and by marine borers Teredo and Limmoria, rather brittle and tends to split on nailing, density 550-760 kg m-3. Unhealthy trees are sometimes attacked by the jewel beetle (Diadoxus erethurus). The wood has commercial importance and large quantities are sawn for flooring and lining boards, fencing, poles and posts; wood very similar to black cypress pine (C. endlicheri).
Climate: Altitudinal range: 90-350(-750) m; Hottest/coldest month: 28-32°C/1-5°C; Frost incidence: low to moderate; Rainfall: 220-750 mm per year, uniform to summer max.
Distinctive features: A medium-sized tree with good form and a rather dense crown of scale-like glaucous foliage; cones spherical with 3 large and 3 small valves.
Callitris glaucophylla 1. Seedling indicating difference in morphology between earlier and later formed leaves 2. Fruiting branch 3. Males at ends of vegetative branches 4. Adult stem showing reduced leaves (S.E.M.) 5. Adult leaves exposed at a joint indicating also the stomates (S.E.M.) 6. Male flower (S.E.M.) 7. Open fruit indicating single columella 8. Stand, near Forbes, N.S.W. 9. Tree, Callitris intratropica 10. Fruit closed 11. Bark
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