The anthropological Vs natural debate re trees growing in other trees is over – Jen Silcock’s soon to be released paper on the subject will remove all doubt statistically & I will remove it pictorially. This old bimble/ poplar box ringtree residing on the neighbour’s neighbour
has an old standard type scar.
Sometime ago someone cut into that scar with an axe as shown here:
Or from this angle:
And planted a bumble aka wild orange seed or seedling inside the scar. Now we don’t know whodunnit or when they dunnit but as recovering academic Russell Fairfax said back in June “I’d say the species most capable of landing a seed or seedling in such a position in a tree is Homo sapiens “
As well as that masterpiece, the people who lived at this particular section of the murrumanaarr paleo channel also created this: a rosewood/ bimble box combo at ground level
I have only seen one other true 50:50 tree and its about 30 ks north at the other end of the paleochannel. This redgum/bimblebox combo brought me to tears but viewing the work of the ancestors has that effect on me sometimes.
Anyway back to the big old box ringtree with a Bumble inserted in the scar by “Homo Sapiens”. To simplify lets call this tree Bring bums inn (Box Ringtree with Bumble in Scar Insert in Neighbours Neighbour) – if there is 1 indisputably man made TinT – its likely there are more right? RIGHT! Yet its also likely that some TinTs are due to natural causes where seed drop in eucalypt crotches coincides with a series of la nina events like we are having now. Jen & Russell have located TinTs in southern Qld along rivers & roads & sandy margins that may or may not be old songlines (roads in Australia often follow indig. paths or songlines) Without remnant vegetation or indigenous oral history you cant connect the TinTs with other CMTs and telltale camp flora. We need citizen scientists from the ‘mob’ as well as graziers, bushwalkers, park rangers, school kids on excursion etc to keep an eye out for them.
As well as proving conclusively that the ancestors deliberately planted trees in trees, Bringbumsinn shows they revisited & remodified them as well. We’ve seen this often with multi scarred trees where some scars are deeper /older and some shallower/ more recent. We also know that ringtrees have to be retied over & over to make the branches merge. Redgums, Coolabahs & leopardwoods inosculate (join) more readily but the bimblebox ring was an intergenerational affair. You can see here that the bridge between the branches on bringbumsinn is short & rough
This may be a ‘short cut’ ring where the opposing limbs were each given a good wack or 200 over time to get them to burl up & join. Ive seen this method used before but Russell suggests “I wonder if once upon a time two young branches rubbed together, then went their separate ways. Fungus got into each scar. Each branch grew separate burls and then the branches got together again.” There are lambing ewes in the paddock where Bringbumsinn lives so I have only seen the tree twice. Its possible there will be no access to this tree in the future but that is out of my hands.
Just when I get depressed about the lack of research into TinTs & how little the local Gomeroi seem to care about these trees I get a phone call or email out of the blue. This morning I got a call from Jenny Peters daughter of Henry Peters who called “Morella” home for many years. She works at the primary school and will bringing some kids out late August. Allan Tighe or Uncle Allo as they know him loves passing on his knowledge so i hope we have more luck convincing children than academics. Its been a few years now since the local schools have got in touch. My sister in law Nicky Currey who also teaches locally & hopes to bring the Senior science & Aboriginal studies classes out this year as well. I know teaching is hell atm with so many staff sick but its very important these kids know the extent of their ancestor’s knowledge. They changed the distribution of the natural vegetation to feed themselves
And they changed individual trees to please themselves.