Aerial roots

This magnificent Moreton Bay fig tree stands proudly in Mowbray Park, East Brisbane.

Images of faeries and forest spirits hiding deep within the densely packed aerial roots flood my mind.

A testament to the resilience of nature; seemingly oblivious to nearby park and ride commuters taking the ferry north, long term road works on Lytton Road, and construction work in the Park.

Bleak Winter

Winter is the only time I can sit in the Australian sun without burning.

On Thursday, I waited for a colleague to arrive, jacket buttoned up, seeking warmth from my coffee cup. I would rather have been sitting in the shade of a tree, on a hot day.

An unusually warm Autumn has made way for a chilly, bleak Winter.

Magnificenct Jacaranda

Spring in Sydney, the time when the Jacaranda trees bloom. They barely have had time to loose their leaves before being adorned with sweet, almost unpleasant, purple, trumpet shaped flowers. 

Jacarandas are difficult to photograph, their magnificenct colour being lost against a blue Antipodean sky. I was fortunate to spot this one from a third floor window, while waiting for a meeting to begin.  

November winds and rain will soon scatter the petals. Regally carpeting the ground under the Jacaranda‚Äôs skeletal canopy of twisted branches. 

Pretty in pink

See how the size of this glorious pink crepe myrtle tree dwarfs the cars parked nearby. I couldn’t resist capturing the pretty pink flowers contrasted against the vibrant green leaves of the tree behind. 

Coppiced or pollarded?


The pruning of the lower branches of this tree has resulted in vertical growth. There are many examples of them in Petersham Park, Sydney, Australia. What a journey we have been on this morning, to find out the definition of this form of pruning! Is it coppicing or pollarding? The Ultimate Practical Guide To Pruning and Training by Richard Bird and multiple Google searches confirm the following:

  • Coppicing is the cutting back almost to ground level of all the main shoots of a multi-stemmed tree. 
  • Pollarding is exactly the same except the cutting takes place at some height above the ground. 

Why do it? 

This traditional technique enables the growth of larger trees in a small space as well as producing good foliage. The variety of tree and frequency of pruning determines the thickness and most appropriate use for the timber. Thinner frequently pruned Willow branches can be used for basket weaving while thicker Oak branches produced by longer period between prunes can be used for construction.