My sister in law Nicky recently sent me a link to a SMH article about scartrees near the northern Victorian town of Boort http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/-gtjok8.html This is an excerpt …Cultural heritage consultant Andrew Long, an expert in scarred trees who has advised Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, learned about the trees in 1993 doing archeological work. When the lake dried up in 1998 he saw the “very, very large number in a small area”. He explains the trees were in effect “fossilised” when the lake was dammed in 1850, “freezing them in time” by not allowing for new bark to grow over the scar. This spared them from “the ravages of agriculture” to follow, which is why there are so many and the scarred, cut bark is so well preserved. He uses the photographic analogy of a “negative image” to describe them: “a clear record of daily activity.”
The process of ringbarking here at Murrumanaar has had the same effect as damming the Boort lakes …basically freezing the scartrees in time & preventing them closing up. I have also noticed that the living Bimble box ( buubaya ) scartrees are much better preserved then the Coolibah and Redgum ( yarraan ) scars are quickly covered by new bark. And as to the ” ravages of agriculture ” – Only the clearing of land for cropping removes scartrees , the grazing of livestock, especially sheep, in paddocks prevent the build up of grasses which can lead to bushfire …ever wonder why National parks have few scartrees ?