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Archive for June, 2013

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magnificent tree –
so many years
to reach maturity
so few moments
to be felled

Australia celebrates National Tree Day on Sunday, the 28th July this year. Visit the website to view the activities planned for this day. http://www.treeday.planetark.org

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Whatever your special talents may be …
Trust and believe in yourself.

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Don’t be concerned if you seem to be different.
Being different can be an interesting thing.

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Let the light within you shine forth.
Enjoy being your colourful self.

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Life is short so just get on with it.
Bloom where you’re planted.

 

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     The scent of late autumn fills the air—that of cypress and hoop pine—burning in the fireplaces and pot-bellied stoves of many homes. As the nights grow colder, doonas and down-filled quilts are removed from storage. It’s time again for the first flames of gold, orange and red to appear within the leaves of many trees.

Entering the driveway of the Happy Valley Nature Retreat, this panorama of colour has already begun, spreading through its majestic avenue of Liquid Amber trees. These mature trees must have been planted many years ago and like silent sentinels, they guard the entrance to the retreat.

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Liquidambars, (Liquidambar styraciflua) are native to North America where they are commonly known as the Sweetgum. A genus of four species of deciduous trees in the witch-hazel family, they are related to the Canadian maple. They also grow abundantly as a native throughout Australia and New Zealand. Here they are described as Liquid Amber, a name derived from the rich, fragrant gum which exhudes from each tree.  

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These trees have a conical, or the more frequently seen rounded form. Their leaves resemble the maple in that each leaf is five pointed and grows spirally from their twigs. In autumn, they change colour from green to gold, then orange, and finally to brilliant red.  As they die and are blown or fall from the tree, they create a radiant patch-work of colour, blanketing the ground below.  

These hardy trees are easily cultivated in any temperate climate. Their large size—25 metres or 82 feet high—make these beauties ideal for expansive gardens, parks, boulevard and street trees. Liquid Ambers prefer a position in full sun with deep loamy soil. They should be watered regularly and never pruned, as pruning will destroy their natural shape. Enjoy them for the beauty they provide, especially when they don their autumn coloured finery. They are always a delight to behold.

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