East Gippsland’s trees – older than America’s discovery

Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that a recently logged old growth tree on Brown Mountain was growing before America was discovered.

“This is a significant find and should now see the government value and protect all our remaining ancient forests – not just as natural relics but as ancient carbon stores”, said Jill Redwood from Environment East Gippsland. “These mammoth trees have taken 6-800 years to grow and store their carbon – it takes an hour to cut them down. So much for claims of sustainability.”

“This finding is a key turning point in our understanding of the antiquity of forests. Two hundred years ago we had the excuse of ignorance – not any longer.”

“This particular Shining Gum (E. denticulata) that was cut down in January was relatively small but was still young when Joan of Ark lived. It’s neighbouring trees, now stumps, could have been growing when Marco Polo sailed the oceans.”

EEG took the sample of wood from a stump after VicForests had clearfelled the age-old stand of trees. It was sent to the University of Waikato for radio carbon dating testing in February.

“The results show there is a 68% chance that the age lies between 1435 AD and 1490 AD.

“Mr Brumby promised to protect the last significant stands of old growth forest in 2006. Since then hundreds of hectares have been cut down. If this new discovery doesn’t make our forests ‘significant’ and worth protecting, then what more evidence does Mr Brumby need?”

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