Esperence and Dover Forests
The tall forests inland from Dover and the Esperence River have some fantastic individual trees that are seldom visited. Massive examples of Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus obliqua, Eucalyptus delegatensis as well as Eucalyptus regnans are scattered throughout. There is also a pleasant camping area by the Esperence river to relax by after exploring the region.
'The Spiral Claw' is a huge Eucalyptus obliqua with a twisted trunk and a complex crown composed mostly of original branches. What is interesting about this small patch of 500 year old forest is the diversity of eucalypt species. Just 150m away from 'The Spiral Claw' is the giant Eucalyptus globulus, 'Rullah Longatyle', and 50m away is the extraordinary 'One Arm Bandit' a Eucalyptus regnans. To top it off there is the 15m girthed 'Recluse' (Eucalyptus delegatensis) growing a mere 10m away (pictured below). We didn't even notice 'The Recluse' at first because its base is almost hidden behind numerous ancient musk (Olearia argophylla) and myrtle beech trees (Nothofagus cunninghammii) which are growing on and around its base.
Pictured above is the amazing lower trunk of 'The Bandit' showing its massive fern matt composed of kangaroo fern, Microsorum pustulatum and leather fern, Rumohra adiantiformis, creeping up its southern side. The photo also shows the massive branch which gave the tree its name. When approaching it from the south you encounter the unusual pairing of an ancient Eucalyptus obliqua and myrtle beech growing side by side with the myrtle actually matching the eucalypt in size.
A view of the crown of the 93m tall 'Kermajesty'
'Rullah Longatyle' means 'Strong Girl' in the local Aboriginal language and it is a fitting name for this massive blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus. Strangely, this is the only blue gum in the area - All of the other Eucalypts are either regnans, delegatensis or obliqua. This magnificent tree is 17m girth, 80m tall and its huge trunk contains 368 cubic meters of wood. Below, Tom Greenwood is dwarfed by its lower trunk
'Swearing Bob's Beast' is a huge tree that remained undiscovered until 2010 even though it easily seen from a forestry road. While it was never a very tall tree ( it currently is just over 60m), it has a huge trunk and a series of truly massive branches. Some of which are large enough to support their own epiphytic gardens of sassafras and ferns (see below).
The massive wall of wood of the 'Hopetoun Link Hulk'
Tom Greenwood and Grant Harris are dwarfed by the 'Kermandie Queen' - Which has the largest known base of any tree in tasmania - 21.6m girth.
Another view of the Kermandie Queen, featuring from left, Derek McIntosh, Tom Greenwood and myself.
The 'Coodabeen Champ' tree is 86m tall to it's broken top which is around 85cm thick. How tall it was before it lost its original crown we will never know, however, it seems highly likely that it once easily exceeded 100m in height.
'Cliffy of Dover' at 93.3m tall has the 2nd highest living leaves of any tree in Australia. Climber Tom Greenwood can be seen ascending 'Cliffy' on the upper left hand side of the tree.
The craggy crown of 'Troll' - 18.3m girth and 56m tall, a huge Eucalyptus delegatensis growing in a patch of impenetrable rainforest which includes some 'horizontal scrub' Anodopetalum biglandulosum. 'Horizontal' has the unusual growth habit of falling over once the crown reaches a certain height. It then grows new stems from the now horizontal original trunk. In this way it creates a lattice of different sized trunks - walking through this type of scrub often means climbing over it at a height of 5 or more metres above the ground on slippery, moss covered branches with progress being often less than 500m per hour.