Ive been in email conversation with a lady from Cohuna – North Victoria – who has sent me some photos of wonderful scarred trees from a creek near the Kow Swamp (one of the largest aboriginal burial grounds in the southern hemisphere). The black box CMTs were killed by flood irrigation & rising salt levels early after colonisation apparently. Like the ringbarking here, this resulted in dead trees but preserved scars. Im hoping someone in Victoria will find some Trees in Trees & send me pics …please? The furthest south Ive seen TinTs is on the Burrendong way between Wellington & Orange on Wiradjuri country. There are also cultural Vines in Trees on the Burning mountain (Wonnarua country) near Scone. Strangler figs (epiphytes or parasites?) grow on trees naturally but I reckon at least one of the VinTs is man-made as there is dichondra growing all around its base.
epiphytes only depend on other plants for physical support whereas parasites obtain nutrients and other requirements from their hosts. Difference Between Epiphytes and Parasites. (2017, June 15) http://www.differencebetween.com/ difference-between-epiphytes and-vs-parasites/
One of the important differences between a parasitic plant & an epiphyte is that the epiphyte causes no harm to its host. Strangler figs often totally smother their hosts within 50 years but they also provide support for them – like a kind of protective scaffolding during storms & cyclones. The supplejack does the same job here as it battles its host for light & nutrients & moisture. Supplejacks are in that rare exclusive group of trees that can be both host & guest -see below – along with leopardwood & belah only.
Since there is so little research into our native trees & none at all into TinTs (except what Jen Silcock has recently submitted) we will probably never know what’s going on inside them. If the ‘guests’ slowly outcompete & kill their ‘hosts’ over a couple of centuries – are they parasites or epiphytes? Rosewood & Wilga seem to engage in a war of attrition with their box hosts over a very long time frame. Have a look at the root ball on this wilga in blackbox I found recently over on Wailwun country – AWESOME OR WHAT
You can see from this angle how the wilga guest has broken open the black box host.
The wilga may have been planted in a dead host but I doubt it as the black box would be more decayed by now. When the host splits apart, the guest roots are exposed & are at risk of drying out. You may be wondering how I know what type of eucalypt the host is as it’s been dead such a long time? So here’s the logic – this old wilga TinT is residing in a dry swamp bed so its definitely not a bimble/ poplar box as they don’t like wet feet. The swamp is only dry atm because it stopped raining last November, but during the last 3 La Nina years & all other wet years it would have been damp. This leaves us with a choice between black box & coolabah which dominate the swamps west & south of Walgett. The reason I think it’s a black box is that the old people didn’t plant wilga or peach bush in coolabahs. Different trees & plants belonged to different totems & were assigned different sexes by Biame. Only certain tree combos were created.
The 50:50 wilga- bimble box above is growing in an adjacent swamp that’s part of the same paleo channel. There’s almost a carbon copy of this TinT on the Gomeroi side of the Barwon on my neighbours neighbour. The 2 doppelganger combo trees would be about 100 ks apart and growing in separate ‘nations’. Now if you don’t find this evidence of anthropologic causes for TinTs then I suggest you remove your blinkers – I may be a one-trick pony but horses have peripheral vision …
This old river between Cuddie springs & the Marra creek failed long ago & all that is visible on google earth is a squiggle of swamps tracing its path.
Where I went there was a deep billabong & large sand deposit where you might access water between 6 – 9 meters down.
Earth was warming as it exited the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago. The glaciers retreated, and humans started farming at the dawn of a new era: the Holocene epoch, also called the “age of man.” Pleistocene epoch: The last ice age – Patrick Pester, Kim Ann Zimmermann 01/03/22
Back to the present – another group of TinTs have turned up between the Barwon river & Sparkes’ warrambool. There are 10 old TinTs around a sand deposit measuring 0.42 X 0.41 Ks across. Again like over Marra way these TinTs & scars are very old. This could be a burial ground where huge strips of bark were removed from the trees to wrap the bodies of the deceased?
This is another wilga in box planted at the same time but the guest has recently died. The reason for this is the host has split in two exposing the roots as you can see below
These new TinT clusters shows us how widespread the practice of planting scrub trees in old eucalypts was. They are not only living in the murramanaarr land system. The tree guests in these new groups are wilga & peach bush only – which is interesting. Here there is a much more diverse guest list but this could be due to the fact Ive only just started looking for them on the Barwon flood plains & Marra paleo channels. The country south of Cuddie springs HAS NOT BEEN RUNG (RINGBARKED) -like west of Walgett & the Ginghet area. The average rainfall is only 16” (400 mm) per year so we are talking a very marginal cropping & semi-arid grazing climatic zone.
To finish up I will copy paste my reply to a larger than life Lightning ridge lady I know who describes herself as a human agronomist and spiritual coach. Rebel Black https://rebelblack.com/ suggested I was ahead of my time…
l dont feel ahead of my time at all? There is no way l could have had time for the trees while raising 4 kids or will have time in the future. Having a son home & better employees has only happened in the last 5 years or so. The widespread technology for websites & google earth & gps geotagging is a 21st century thing. Scar Trees | Scar trees is regularly saved by the state library so even if l was to pull the plug it would still be in the cloud for the foreseeable. So lm in the right place at the right time really. The trees here are both a passion & a pleasure for me. The significance of the TinTs goes far beyond their unique & strange arboreal forms. It goes right to the heart of academic assumptions about nomadic lifestyle. After all someone had to nurture the guests until they were established? We are both gardeners & know instinctively there must have been some seedbed preparation & watering involved? What is the interaction between host/guest/fungi – did it vary between species? Why is the bimblebox the most common host by far? Why dont wilga grow in coolabah? So many questions not enough time …
Now I know there are plenty of flat-earthers out there who refuse to believe Australia’s Aboriginal ancestors created the Trees in Trees. There are also some that dont believe they created Ringtrees or left any trace on a land they inhabited for around 60,000 years. This latent racism/ subconscious bias is particularly prevalent among academics & journalists. Do you really think the 770+ TinTs Ive found in the semi-arid NSW rangelands are the result of birdshit? Really Bro’..really?