Saturday, April 23, 2016

A-Z Blog Challenge: T is for Tingle

No, I don't mean that delicious - and sometimes less than delicious - sensation we can physically feel. I'm talking about the majestic red tingle tree which grows only in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and a few isolated pockets around Walpole in the lower south west of Western Australia.

And when I say majestic I really do mean majestic. While there are two other tingle species - the yellow tingle (Eucalyptus guilfoylei) and Rate's tingle (Eucalyptus brevistylis) - these are both smaller. Reaching heights to around 70 metres and with buttressed bases that can measure as much as 24 metres in circumference the red tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii) is truly among the world's giant trees. Although it's not the tallest even in these forests - that honour belongs to the karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) - it's the red tingle's girth that makes it special and earns it its status of giant. This is made up of buttresses that support the massive trunk and forest fires mean that the heartwood centre is often burnt out to leave a hollowed area surrounded by these buttresses. The red tingle is long lived, too, living up to 400 years.

The most famous and largest of the tingle trees currently surviving is the Giant Tingle - it is reputed to be the oldest living eucalyptus tree in the world - and it is to be found in the Valley of the Giants in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. It reaches above the canopy and can be visited via a boardwalk which winds around the buttresses. But that's not all there's to see in the Valley of the Giants. There's also a treetop walk through the canopy of the tingle forest open to the public.

All this is a far cry from when I first went to the Valley of the Giants as a child. Then there was only a gravel road which led past huge trees and where those inclined pulled off the road and parked their cars inside the hollowed out buttresses so they could take photos. Fortunately we're now more responsible and treat these wonderful trees with respect - and I'm very glad that my parents were not among those who abused them. The photo my father took was only of my mother, brothers and me standing on the road in front of the biggest tree.


Liz A. said...

Oh wow, that sounds amazing. I love giant trees.

Liz A. from
Laws of Gravity

Helen V. said...

Hi Liz, nice of you to drop by. The tingle and karri forests are spectacular. I had a look at your blog, too, and it brought back memories of my own teaching days.

Jz said...

I had never heard of a tingle tree - but am completely in love with the name!
Thank you for introducing me to it.

Have you taken the treetop walk? It looks amazing...

Happy A-Z!

Helen V. said...

Hi Jz. The treetop walk is on my list for our next holiday down south. Family members who have done it say it's breathtaking.

Miss Andi said...

This sounds like a breathtaking place to visit, I love trees and forests, they're so calming. Towering over me they also put me in my place, showing that I'm not the centre of the universe :)

Andrea from The Script Bible
Volunteer in Damyanti's D Company #atozchallenge

Helen V. said...

Hi Miss Andi. Nice of you to drop by. I love forests, too, and you're right about them making us aware of just insignificant we are in the scheme of things.