Chekhov, the Russian physician/playwright, wrote a drama, known in English as "Platonov". In it, the question is put: "What shall we do?" The answer given is: "Bury the dead and mend the living". Excellent advice, I think - that is - where people are concerned. Trees are another matter. They can live for many centuries and derive their stature from wood. In all trees nearly all the wood is actually dead, except for a small, living ring of new wood around the outside of the trunk. Quite an incredible piece of evolution and adaptation. That ring is protected by bark. Hence, you can kill trees by the well known procedure of "ring barking". So that's how trees live - if all is well. However, in the alpine and sub-alpine areas in Tasmania, all is not always well. The climate is very tough. Mending damage is not always possible. In fact, if you go really high up in alpine areas, trees just cannot survive. Go a bit lower & you see lots of eucalypt trees. However, many of old ones here are struggling - much of their bark is missing - an incomplete "ring barking" induced by the climate, and possibly animals. Annual growth is very limited indeed.These trees are on the edge of death - but, for now - are still hanging onto life - try & "mend the living". The fragments of bark remaining on these very mature trees exhibit the most amazing palette of colours and designs. The shots are taken at Mt Field National Park, at the sub-alpine level below Seagers Lookout. .
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