Photo Diary #58 - Canberra National Arboretum Cork Oak Plantation


Cork oak tree branches in the National Canberra Arboretum  forest photographed in black and white by Megan Kennedy

Taken: 2 August 2021


Canberra National Arboretum Cork Oak Plantation


Notes: Towards the northern end of the National Arboretum in Canberra, a shady 100-year-old cork oak (Quercus suber) plantation curtains the busy Glenloch Interchange/William Hovell Drive. When city planner Walter Burley Griffin and horticulturalist Charles Weston were looking to trial various tree species for the Nation's Capital, the pair saw potential in cork oaks. Suited to Canberra's dry climate, a test-forest of the cork trees was planted in 1917. Native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa, the medium sized evergreen trees, with broad canopies and fissured, fire resistant bark, live from 150-200 years.

A fallen cork oak tree in the National Canberra Arboretum  forest photographed in black and white by Megan Kennedy
A fallen cork oak tree in the National Canberra Arboretum  forest photographed in black and white by Megan Kennedy

From December 2012 to January 2013, surveyors counted 2604 live trees, 34 dead trees, 5 fallen trees and 782 tree stumps[1]. Partially stripped at least three times, many of the cork trees are in the process of regeneration, with dark, young layers of bark contrasting with the remaining grey outer layers of each tree.

Sources


[1] National Arboretum Canberra