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    Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

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    Joy
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    default Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 4:23 pm

    We found our beautiful Wollemi pine at our favourite local plant retailer, in a nationwide chain store, early in 2007. Yes, they do sell very good plants. This was its first release, after years of propagation to enable its sale to the general public. Our tiny tree was 45cms (18ins) tall with some of its lower branches longer than that. :lol: It was an official plant released for sale & had a numbered care instructions/royalty paid tag. Ours is plant number 12,495 so quite a few were released for sale with many being exported overseas. Their scientific name is wollemia nobilis & they are not a true pine but are members of the family Araucariaceae which includes the Norfolk Island, Hoop, Bunya, Kauri & Monkey Puzzle pines.

    Had wanted one of these since we had heard the interesting story of how they had been rediscovered after they had been thought, from fossil finds, to be extinct for over 2 million years & were to be propagated, for sale, from a few retrieved seeds & some tissue cultures. This was to be done in order to protect the very small wild population, believed to be less than 100 trees. Some of these trees are, also, believed to be one tree which has coppiced forming several trunks. Our small tree has already started to coppice. Some of the mature wild Wollemi pines such as The Bill Tree are thought to be 1000 years old.

    They make an excellent potted plant & are, also, an air-cleaning plant which is of benefit if grown indoors. In this case, they should be put outside in a sheltered spot for one week in each month. Ours is in a pot outdoors in a spot that faces SW & gets the late afternoon sun. This is a spot it seems to like, thoiugh this year it hasn't had any spring growth. We are going to repot it again, maybe its roots need some more room. The first spring we had it, it shot up 15cms (6ins) as well as about 30cms on some lateral branches. That spring there was a long lasting bush fire in the National Park just south of us & I feel that, perhaps, the smoke in the air stimulated growth. Not sure about that but the growth spurt happened at the same time. Hasn't happened since. They are drought tolerant & the instructions say the potting medium should be dry before they are watered. THere is a recommended potting medium but I have not been able to find it but my plant has managed with the same mix I use for the other plants.

    There is an excellent web site which gives all the details about this wonderful & very different plant. It is [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Here are some images of our Wollemi pine from two years ago when it had its growth spurt. The 15cm it grew in height is seen as the light green stem.



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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 4:42 pm

    A week later.



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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 5:34 pm

    Soft new growth on the branches.



    The top.

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 5:36 pm

    Nearly three weeks later.



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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 5:37 pm



    Last edited by Joybells on Sun 15 Nov 2009, 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Dawn on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 5:48 pm

    I love it when I hear of something that has been saved from near extinction. The older fronds ( if I could use that word for this plant) appears in the photo to be almost like cycads fronds/branches.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 6:06 pm

    Their branches are fern like, Dawn but are quite different from our native cycads which look very palm-like. In fact the garden of ferns which are right beside it have similar looking fronds but are unlike it. :lol: The leaves of the Wollemi pine are quite tough in texture when mature.

    Itlooks as though it is ready to grow as it has these knobs on the top of its trunk & at the ends of some of its branches. Do hope it will be encouraged to grow when we repot it. :)

    These pics were taken two years ago & I shall be posting some newer ones, soon. ;)

    Slightly newer pics. The second one was after it had been repotted. It now needs another larger pot!!

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    Dawn

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    Post by Dawn on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 6:34 pm

    "These pics were taken two years ago & I shall be posting some newer ones, soon "

    I look forward to seeing them. I feel sure once repotted it is going to sprout some more growth.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 9:17 pm

    Thanks Dawn. This will be its third pot in just over two years, too!!! :lol:
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 10:25 pm

    These images are from a year ago.



    This is new lateral growth on a new coppice stem.



    New growth at the end of a branch. It is going to grow in two directions.

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    Dawn

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    Post by Dawn on Sat 14 Nov 2009, 11:56 pm

    This last photo gives a really good view of the leaves!.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sun 15 Nov 2009, 9:26 pm

    These two images were taken five days apart & show how quickly this, normally slow growing, plant can grow.





    Here is some more new growth on the small second coppiced trunk.

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sun 15 Nov 2009, 9:37 pm

    Six weeks later the small second trunk, on the left, has grown & some more new growth has started. The second trunk still hasn't increased in size 10 months later.



    There is a third stem bud apparent. So far it doesn't seem to have done anything.



    Has become very bushy on top, with just a short gap between the top & the previous lateral growth.

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    Dawn

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    Post by Dawn on Tue 17 Nov 2009, 6:13 am

    That is very quick growth, Joy! Did it do this after your previous repotting? What does one feed this plant?. On the kew sign it mentioned a mycorrhizal "friendly" fungi, to help the growth of the plant?? Or can one just give it a general plant food?
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Tue 17 Nov 2009, 8:39 am

    Had never reard of this mycorrhizal fungi, Dawn. It wasn't handed out when we bought ours & these plants came from the authorised growers. Had to Google it. :lol: One site said, although it was beneficial to some plants it could also be detrimental to others. :!: :?: Perhaps ours don't need it. ;) It wasn't mentioned in the instructions on the official website.

    The website recommends a particular potting medium, as mentioned, but the manufacturers of this, did not even respond to my e-mail requesting info about where it was sold in our region. So I just use regular potting mix. It requires a low phosphorous fertiliser, so I have just found out. I have just been using a regular one. :oops: We have fertilisers suitable for our native plants though most sold here, both liquid & slow release, are usually native plant friendly. Doesn't need much water.

    It has grown about 25-30cms since we've had it, which is quite good as they do tend to be slow growing when in pots. Can be pruned, also.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 4:02 pm

    Today was slightly cooler than the 39C heat of yesterday & was, also, overcast, so took advantage of that to repot our Wollemi pine. Think it is probably a little stressful for plants to be yanked out their home & shoved into another, without the further stress of heat. Don't know when we shall get another cool day. Took some pics of it, & not before time, as it has been NINE MONTHS since its last pics were taken. Tsk, tsk.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 4:05 pm

    Our Wollemi pine in its new pot.

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 4:07 pm

    A close up of the coppiced trunk/branch with its hard mushroom-shaped "cap" on the end of it. The tips of the branches have similar "caps".

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 4:11 pm

    The top on the Wollemi pine is all knobbly but the little knobs are turning green so they may sprout soon. I hope.

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Dawn on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 7:43 pm

    Yes it looks set to sprout some new growth! .
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 8:40 pm

    It looks really warty, doesn't it, Dawn??? :lol: :lol: :lol:

    These trees do look as though they were designed & drawn by the wonderful Dr Seuss. They grow in such a really strange manner. ;)
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Dawn on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 8:53 pm

    Joy! you have a most wonderful way of describing things, exactly as they are. It does look like a Dr Zeus design.
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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 9:06 pm

    Always did think it could have been one of his drawings. He would have loved this tree. Shame it wasn't discovered until a few years after his death. It is amazing to see just how some of its branches grow. They go in all sorts of directions, even turn upside down. There is absolutely no symmetry to these trees, well, not when they are small, anyway. :lol:

    Here is a pic of one of its branches which decided to flip over & grow upside down. :D

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Wed 18 Nov 2009, 9:19 pm

    This pic shows the growth pattern of its branches quite well. Each lot of new growth looks as though it has been glued on to the end of a branch as the leaves at each end taper in as though it is the end of the branch but then it will send out more new growth, two or three times. A few of these branches are longer than the tree is tall. Some of the branches have double rows of leaves, too. It is one weird plant & definitely does not conform to the norm, thank goodness.

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    default Re: Our Wonderful Wollemi Pine.

    Post by Joy on Sun 22 Nov 2009, 9:11 pm

    Well, the top of the Wollemi pine is getting ready to sprout. After taking these images I noticed the gum, or resin, seepage down the stem. It is quite hard, too. Seems as though the plant is healing whatever wounds the new growth may cause. As yet, there is no sign of forthcoming growth on the lateral branches, though many of them have knobs at their ends which, usually, indicate imminent growth. There also appears to be growth just below the top, as well.



    Closer view.


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