If you visit this website often you will be familiar with the depressing stories about the decline of the wonderful snow gum. Between dieback and more intense fire seasons, the iconic tree of the high country is in decline.
In recent decades, wildfire has been devastating huge areas of the Snow Gum forests, with significant fires in the Victorian High Country in 1998, 2002/3, 2006/7, 2013 and 2019/20. More than 90% of Snow Gum habitat has been burnt at least once in the last 20 years.
The species can survive fire. However, climate change driven fire seasons are leading to more frequent fire, which is causing more death of trees and changes to forest structure. In some instances, localised collapse of Snow Gum woodlands is now being observed. If you’re interested in the detail of this, check these articles.
But we still have a lot of amazing older and mixed age snow gum forests. And in the depressing reality of the 21st century, it’s good to celebrate and love the places that are still intact. Please share your favourite spots.
Next spring we will restart our mapping of localised damage to snow gums. In the meantime we would love to hear of your experiences in the mountains and where you have found big old trees. We would love to then map some of these refuges, so please provide a bit of detail about where the trees are located (we fully understand if you prefer to keep your favourite places secret).
Either email photo and description to: email@example.com or post something in a comment below, or post on the Mountain Journal or Snow Gum citizen science facebook pages.
ABOVE: on the shores of Lake Catani, Buffalo national Park
ABOVE: on the Mt Wills plateau
ABOVE: on Long Plain track, Alpine national park
ABOVE: an AMAZING elder on the eastern side of Mt Howitt
ABOVE: burnt country, but with old trees remaining, between Howitt Plain and Macalister Springs
ABOVE: just south of Dinner Plain
ABOVE: Bluff Spur, Mt Stirling
ABOVE: random Alpine Ash, Mt Stirling. Because who doesn’t love a bit of alpine ash old growth?
ABOVE: Mt Wills
ABOVE: open mixed age forest, near Dead Timber Hill
ABOVE: Hanging in there despite the fires. Above White River Hut, Main Range
ABOVE: JB Plain
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