An accidental epiphyte is a plant that normally grows terrestrially (in the ground) but that occasionally grows to maturity in a tree crown, usually in terrestrial-like microsites such as the crotches of branches (www.sciencedirect.com) A tree crotch is that small pocket where the branches join the trunk or the base of multi trunked trees that form a small wooden bowl. Crotches here at murrumanaarr are often the spaces left when a tree trunk has fallen out or has been removed with an axe (stone or steel) or a chainsaw. Academics such as archaeologists and botanists think the TinTs are AEs – they either don’t think Aboriginal people planted/ nurtured native guest trees living in eucalypt crotches or they don’t give a shit one way or the other.
FACT; The Gomeroi land here & Wailwun country south over the Barwon & the Euahlayi nation west of the Big Warrambool all contain Trees in Trees FACT; TinTs can occur naturally & with non-local species. There is a tiny cedar guest in a non-local eucalypt host in my mother’s garden for example. FACT; Im yet to see a single TinT big or small not near a natural water catchment, well, spring or warrambool channel. FACT; Im yet to see a single TinT not at or close to old Aboriginal campsites. FACT; Rainfall effects rates of tree growth – 2010 – 2012 were wet 2013 – 2015 dry 2016 wet 2017 – 2019 dry 2020, 2021 both wetter than average. FACT; Trees don’t grow evenly over time with our erratic rainfall patterns but in a stop/ start manner according to the vagaries of the climate. Widespread germination events only succeed in a series of La Nina years so trees tend to belong to different generations. SPECULATION; guest trees also often seem similar sizes esp. wilga guests and may come in generations too?
Ecologist Russell Fairfax has also speculated that pre Europeans may have deliberately cut the central bole/main trunk to cause more stems to grow. Re-sprouts over the mid 20 cm diameter could well predate white settlement given the slow growth rates out here. Re-sprouts/Epicormic shoots would allow a tree to produce more timber & bark. This wouldn’t suit the tree hollow dwellers such as possums or goannas but would provide more nesting sites for birds. All these multi-limbed box trees would also create more tree crotches & therefor more germination places for guest species to grow. Russell estimates re- sprouts here growing at around 1.32 mm p.a (per year) on average. Thanks again to Russell Fairfax & Jenifer Silcock who have invested time & brain power in this quest.
Unfortunately my website domain provider _ Crazy Domains has deleted all my photos since the 8th of Feb this year. I have been over the inode/file quota for awhile now & thought I could get around the issue by deleting as many photos as I uploaded but that didn’t work. To keep on uploading CMTs I need a Private Virtual Server (VPS) & that costs anywhere from $700 to $2500 AU per year depending on the company & amount of help they give you. As there is no interest from academics (except Jen & Russell) & no interest from the local mob (except Allan & Rhonda & Warren) I think Im flogging a dead horse. The mystery of the Trees in Trees will remain just that. You can contact me on my email [email protected] or Allan Tighe on 0447069958 Winangali ngaya nginunha (yuwaalaray) – I will listen to you
I will say this to this to those who should have helped me but didnt for whatever reasons – the Aboriginal people here (past, present & hopefully future) had great respect for their trees. Trees were thought to have souls and different tree species belonged to different totems. You were born under trees (often Wilgas) & you were named after trees. You ate their fruits or the creatures living in them. You used their bark for shelter. You used their leaves/ timber/ roots for all the necessities of life and when you died you were buried in them, under them or wrapped in their bark. Trees provided food shelter medicine tools weapons lookouts & information. Now I ask you – why would people whose whole life revolved around trees be thought incapable of caring for seedlings in a tree crotch?