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Where to Find Huon Pines in Tasmania

Huon pines along the riverbank

Source: Prism

Are you on the hunt for a fascinating escapade in Tasmania? Then, go tree-hopping and find the magical spots where the well-loved Huon pines live in seclusion. The island of Tasmania has become the ultimate abode of these antique works of nature for many years. Fast forward to the present time, the classical foliage continues to amaze tourists with its long-lasting endurance despite of being slow-growing. It can live more than a thousand years. There’s something about the growing condition of the island that makes it the true home of Huon Pines. Bordered with temperate weather, Tasmania features a damp wilderness, which makes it the perfect environment for the water-dependent trees. Most Huon pines grow in swampy rainforests, as well as riverbanks and lakesides. These places are abundant in moist that give the trees its needed essentials.

To start your tree-hopping, here are the best places in Tasmania where you can find the gentle giants— Huon pines.

TahuneAirwalk

Would you dare try this one?

Source: Pinterest

One of the most visited attractions in the island, TahuneAirwalk also shelters the Tahune Nature Reserve, which is filled with some of the oldest Huon pines in the world. The park being located in the southern portion of Tasmania holds more than 1 million hectares of rainforest, all of which are listed as World Heritage. Get lost with nature as you wander around the wilderness and walk towards the swinging bridges. From above, you will witness the impressive waters of Huon and Picton rivers. Take a stride along the Huon pine path that may take up to 20 minutes. The tranquil forest is certainly a nice way to calm your senses. And if your adventure isn’t enough, spend the night at the park’s relaxing accommodation— the Forest Lodge and the self-contained cabin.

Arthur-Pieman River State Reserve

Paddling with some nice views

Source: BBC

In the northwest area of Tasmania lies a beautiful stretch of nature, the Arthur-Pieman River State Reserve. The ever vibrant and extensive landscape covering the entire reserve is definitely a sight to feast your eyes on. With more than 100, 000 hectares in vicinity that begins from the Arthur River of the north and extends up to the Pieman River of the South, it’s no wonder that this spot is a well-loved tourist attraction. As the location is bordered with striking rivers, Huon pines are downright charmed to its beauty. These conifers are water lovers, and they couldn’t survive without such essential. Hence, you will witness some remarkable sights of these lofty trees scattered along the reserve’s wilderness. Hop on and take a ride to the vast hinterland of this breathtaking island.

Gordon River

Take a cruise down the Gordon River and be enthralled with the bunch of Huon pines speckled along its riverbank. As dependent as it is with swampy environment, the waters of Gordon River truly make the existence of these ancient conifers more convenient and worth living. Not only that, the body of water is a popular choice among travellers, mostly international visitors, because of the fascinating combination of water and wilderness. The place holds a significant fragment of the island’s history, and continues to run as deep as the stretches of blue in the river. So, for nature lovers out there, the Gordon River cruise is truly something you shouldn’t miss.

Teepookana Forest Reserve

This forest reserve is strategically situated in the southwest of Tasmania, which is near Sophia Point and Strahan. Covering more than 500, 000 hectares of natural beauty, the Teepookana Forest Reserve was once a port area that acted as a stopping place for the King River. The region was also one of the top suppliers of Huon pine timber in the island. Its beautiful terrains are not located in the lowlands, but rather on high elevations, making it a comfortable spot to grow these slow-growing yet long-lasting conifers. Nowadays, there has been less number of Huon pines standing within its grounds but the ancient prominence still appeals to the travellers, especially the history buffs.

Mount Jukes Road

For a more stimulating adventure, go trekking at Mount Jukes Road of the west coast section of Tasmania. The mountain range is filled with lush rainforest that includes some soaring Huon pines. Not only that, the mountain is the home of two notable glacial lakes in the island— Upper Lake Jukes and Lower Lake Jukes. The glacial lakes also paved way for the introduction of mining industry many years ago, which became one of the most important trades in the region.  These bodies of water entice the growth of the classical conifers, and of course, continue to attract travellers to get on with an exciting trekking experience. Standing over 3, 000 ft. above sea level with multiple peaks, Mount Jukes Road may be a tough challenge for newbies. So, it’s better to hire a guide before you venture the unknown.
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Impressive Uses of Huon Pine

A factory of Huon pines

Source: Travel OZ

Many years ago, the natives of Tasmania depended on one fine tree for boat building, and it was the Huon Pine or also known as Lagarostrobos franklinii. The appreciation for these conifers started as early as 1800s, where its wood was used to construct ships for the government. The timber featuring a golden colour is truly rich in essential oils, which makes it perfect for furniture and boats. The creamy shade of the wood is very durable, smooth, and light weight unlike other trees of similar style. Thus, it is very stress-free to work with and finish it off with a polish. These Australian timbers highlights the presence of an indispensable oil— methyl eugenol, which accents the unique scent of the Huon pine. This essential oil makes the timber more long-lasting and hard-wearing because of its preservative qualities that even act as insect repellent. Hence, you will save time and money from putting insecticide to your project.

And with the advancement of time, Huon pines have become one of the most remarkable choices for wood crafting and building. Here are some impressive uses of this prominent Tasmanian timber that you will definitely be impressed with.

Boat Building

Well, it’s not a question that the wood of Huon pine is the ideal element for boat-building. The golden tint of the timber is downright appealing in creating a remarkable ship. It exudes a rather classical and classy ambience to the entire creation, not to mention its durability. The workability of the timber is also one of the many reasons why Huon pine is a top pick among boat manufacturers. It is very easy to deal with because of the soft and smooth yet durable and light weight features of the timber. For thousand years, Huon pines continue to amaze the boat-building community with its natural charms. It’s true that the only thing slower than this well-loved Australian tree is its decay. Thus, Huon pines are slowly getting recognized in the worldwide market because of the excellent timber it provides.

The limitation, however, may be a downside for the manufacturers and buyers.  Aside from Tasmania, there are only certain places that grow Huon pines because of its strict living environment, which needs cool and damp setting.

Furniture Making

With the advent of trade and industry in Australia, the island of Tasmania has embraced its natural resources in a very special way. And since Huon pines are the island’s one of the most prized possessions, it is best to make use of this piece of nature. Thus, the natives have also stepped up the prominence of Huon pines through more notable uses. Aside from boat building, they have ventured furniture making as well.

The pleasant creamy colour of the timber makes it ideal for crafting furniture such as table, chairs, cabinet, and other smaller pieces. The figured timber along with the bird’s eye is very noteworthy when it comes to furniture making. These crafted works, however, are quite pricey compared to common hardwoods. It is because of its limited resources, which are thrived mostly from the roughest terrains in the island. The scarceness of these conifers is still within the alarming level because they are easily caught up by fire during drought. Moreover, the scarcity also paved way for the strict implementation of certain guidelines for companies making use of the Huon pine as trade.

Man-Made Crafts

The beauty of Huon pines is not just limited to boat building and furniture making. It is also used for creative man-made crafts such as souvenirs and sculptures. These charming artcrafts are normally displayed at the Australian Woodwork. There are heaps of impressive array of fine wood pieces made by local artisans. Most of these works are quite high-end as only limited companies were given the license to cut Huon pines, and only dead trees are allowed to be cut and manufactured by the state. The strict granting of permission to cut down these trees is a great way to preserve the next generation of Huon pines. Today, most terrains where the Huon pine seemingly grow in peace are well protected by government. These are usually within natural reserves, which are safeguarded by the World Heritage Area. Owning at least one Huon pine art is definitely a valued possession you shouldn’t miss.

So, save up a bit and buy a good deal of a Huon pine craft that will surely last for an eternity. This prized piece of art is a great of example of sustainable development, which helps in the upkeep of the natural resources and respects the regenerative skills of nature. After all, life is dependent on nature, and not the other way around.

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How to Grow Huon Pines

The lush Huon pines

Source: longhornval

Are you planning to make your own garden? Then, you can start growing some Huon pines in your backyard. Huon pines are normally planted on areas with swampy rainforests such as Tasmania. In the island, you will be overwhelmed with the abundance of these native conifers swarming along the lakeshores and riverbanks. So, if you are living in a cool temperate location, this bushy foliage might just be the perfect decoration for your orchard.

Planning

Growing Huon pine needs patience and dedication. Its fascinating beauty is the result of continuous taming and kind cultivating. Just a piece of advice, these conifers do not just grow instantly. They mature very slowly, making them one of the world’s slowest growing trees. Every year, they grow by less than one inch. Consequently, only few can nurture this rather charming yet dawdling work of nature. The availability of these plants is limited, and only Tasmania and certain places in the world have tried to reproduce them. But if you’re up for the challenge, let get this going.

Huon pines normally undergo the vegetative reproduction, where there are no seeds or spore used to create a new plant. For instance, a twig begins to shoot when it falls into the soil or through the process of layering. This vegetative reproduction is the easiest way to make a new tree. The tree branches just naturally break off from the parent, and then root into the ground

Seedling reproduction also occurs, but not that often because it would take some time like 5 to 7 years for it to reproduce. But if you are willing to wait, then you need to be ready as soon as the mass seedling occurs, where the seeds are speckled near the parent tree. Once you have the seeds, start winter sowing them in ventilated containers or unheated vessels. The ventilation arrangements within the container help in reducing internal fume and temperature through its cooling outlets.

Planting

Huon Pine in a Pot

Source: ABC

At this point, you already know that Huon pines need lots of moisture to survive, aside from the tons of patience you need to invest to let them grow. Thus, you cannot just put them everywhere. Notwithstanding its dependency on swampy grounds, they also need sunlight. Thus, indoor is a not the right spot for them. And of course, these trees can grow as high as 40 ft. and can take up to 20 ft of space! Yes, most of the Huon pines are towering, plump trees that need unlimited height and weight dimensions for it to grow freely. Considering the need for water, sunlight and space, then outdoor damp soil is the best place for these vascular land plants. With this setup, you can let them grow freely with no restrictions. The high amount of moisture and the fractional sunrays help these trees grow year round. Sun exposure may vary— partial or full shade, but they can still manage to live. Technically, the trees do no need excessive heat because they are susceptible to it. In Tasmania, most Huon pines are very drought sensitive that is why they are usually killed by fire. As long as the place you want to plant the trees is cool and swampy with a little sunshine, then you got the right deal.

Taking Care

Growing to its finest

Source: Flickr

Planting a seed or layering a plant is just the initial step of an extensive journey of gardening. Though there’s really no need to closely monitor its growth, it is ideal to give them a gentle attention. Owning a Huon pine is definitely a prized possession, especially in Tasmania. The government and conversationalists already created ways to protect and preserve this notable piece of Mother Nature. Only approved companies are allowed to make use of its wood for trade. The wood of this conifer that contains natural oils is a popular pick among businesses like ship building and furniture making. The Huon pine timbers are one of a kind, and in Tasmania, they are considered as the Prince of Tasmanian Timbers.

To continually grow your own Huon Pine, you just have to be consistent. Well, you actually don’t need to spray an insecticide to the tree because the wood itself is insect resistant. It’s a matter of longevity of patience because, as previously mentioned, they are very slow growers. During the first few years, Huon pines do not look like trees. They are more similar to petite shrubs or diminutive samplings. Despite the super dawdling growth, the tree may soon amaze you with its lofty height, which could grow up to 40 ft. Amazing, right? Once it reaches the maturity stage, the tiny and scaly foliage of the tree will now be closely surged to its trunk. The countless years of growing Huon pines are truly impressive. Well, it’s your share on preserving the beauty of nature for the upcoming generation.

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5 things you should know about Huon Pine

Huon Pine is a rare species of tree that has some remarkable properties. It is widely used in building boats. Here are five things you should know about Huon Pine.

Habitat

1 - 5 things you should know about Huon Pine
Huon Pine is found only in the west and southwest Tasmania. It grows in the wet temperate rainforests. It is an endangered species and so is restricted from cutting unless they are dead.

Age

2 - 5 things you should know about Huon Pine
These trees grow very slowly. It only grows 1mm in girth every year. Some trees are 2,500 years or even older. On average, a Huon Pine tree can live for 1,000 years.

Foliage

3 - 5 things you should know about Huon Pine
The leaves of the Huon Pine are small. The stalks are covered by small scales just like the cypress hedges. During spring it develops pin-head sized cones.

Uses

4 - 5 things you should know about Huon Pine
In the past, Huon Timber was one of the best boatbuilding materials. It can also be used to make furniture and different wooden items.

Strict protection

5 - 5 things you should know about Huon Pine
These plant species are protected by the initiatives of the forestry of Tasmania. There are only three licenses available to cut Huon Pine sawlog. The supply of salvaged dead timber of Huon Pine can last for two generations.

Huon Pine is a unique species of trees and is very useful. Its unique features are very appealing and people often can’t resist the temptation to cut these trees and make beautiful wooden things like boat and furniture. But we should be careful so that it doesn’t become extinct. Otherwise, it will affect the biodiversity of the Tasmanian rainforests.

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