White Knight – the tallest manna gum

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White Knight , Tasmania
White Knight / Nicolás Boullosa, Flickr. CC BY 2.0
Several coincidences have spared the highest known white gum of the world – White Knight – from felling.

A group of enormous, incredibly tall trees in the forest some 30 km north from Fingal are known for many decades. There was an attempt to cut the trees already in the 1940s – 1950s – but loggers rated that they will not get the logs out and it is not worth to spend time on this.

In the 1970s there was next attempt to cut the trees. Loggers built a road coming close to the giant trees and local forester Des Howe was assessing the potential gain from the cut. Forester was surprised at the incredible height of several trees – first measurements witnessed that one tree is 91 m tall. After some discussions it was decided to save the trees and in 1977 there was created Evercreech Forest Reserve specifically for the protection of this group of eucalypts.

Des Howes was convinced that these trees are white gums (many species of eucalypts are called white gums – thus here we will use another name – manna gum). This was a botanical surprise – manna gum is common, for most part comparatively small tree. Only samples from the trees convinced botanists that there exists supertall white gum. Manna gum has very light color of trunk – thus the largest four trees have been nicknamed – White Knights.

White Knight, Tasmania
White Knight / Nicolás Boullosa, Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Evercreech Forest Reserve is a beautiful natural forest. A well equipped walking track leads up to the trees – may be the trail is too much equipped because the tallest tree is enclosed in a boardwalk like a hand in handcuffs.

Tourism promoters constantly mention that eucalypts in this reserve exceed 90 m and even 100 m height. Exact measurement though tells a different story – the tallest tree is 91.3 m tall. It is estimated to be more than 300 years old, circumference is 11 m.

White Knight is included in the following list:

Map of tallest trees in the world
Map of tallest trees in the world

References

  1. Giant Trees. Tasmania’s world class giants. Former Website.
  2. The excellent, excellent Tasmanian Plants page by David Tng in Flickr. Las access in 20.12.10.

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White Knight - the tallest manna gum -41.402341, 147.975003 White Knight – the tallest manna gum
Coordinates: 41.4023 S 147.9750 E
Categories: Trees
Values: Biology
Rating: (2.5 / 5)
Address: Australia and Oceania, Australia, Tasmania, Evercreech Forest Reserve, some 15 km northeast from Mathinna
Alternate names: TT 093
Species: Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis Labill.), more often called: white gum
Height: 91.3 m
Diameter: 3.30 m
Circumference: 11.0 m
Volume: 180 m3

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