East Gippsland; Australia's ancient trees older than America's discovery
This is close to my heart - as these forests are
Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that a recently logged old growth tree on
Brown Mountain was growing before America was discovered.
"This is a significant find and should now see the government value and
protect all our remaining ancient forests - not just as natural relics but
as ancient carbon stores", said Jill Redwood from Environment East
Gippsland. "These mammoth trees have taken 6-800 years to grow and store
their carbon - it takes an hour to cut them down. So much for claims of
"This finding is a key turning point in our understanding of the antiquity
of forests. Two hundred years ago we had the excuse of ignorance - not any
"This particular Shining Gum (E. denticulata) that was cut down in January
was relatively small but was still young when Joan of Ark lived. It's
neighbouring trees, now stumps, could have been growing when Marco Polo
sailed the oceans."
EEG took the sample of wood from a stump after VicForests had clearfelled
the age-old stand of trees. It was sent to the
University of Waikato for radio carbon
dating testing in February.
"The results show there is a 68%
chance that the age lies between 1435 AD and 1490 AD.
"Mr Brumby promised to protect the last significant stands of old growth
forest in 2006. Since then hundreds of hectares have been cut down. If this
new discovery doesn't make our forests 'significant' and worth protecting,
then what more evidence does Mr Brumby need?"
For comment: Jill Redwood ph 5154 0145
Environment East Gippsland