Hollow tree collapse

Once the landscape was well endowed with mature large trees and the wildlife that evolved to make use of these trees were numerous. Now they are extremely rare and becoming more threatened with every burn, with every logging operation and a government fearful that a falling tree could mean litigation.

We all know that rare wildlife regard old hollow-bearing trees as very sought after real estate. Old trees with hollows can be from 200-800 years old. They should make up a majority of the age class in forests and woodlands. The largest impact on these trees for minimal human time and effort are the government approved controlled bushfires. These are lit annually to supposedly mitigate real bushfires. The older trees that collapse can be in the hundreds per burn. These papers (PDF below) explain the grim situation for hollow trees and how we are carelessly destroying these critical structures of a forest ecosystem.

What factors influence the collapse of trees retained on logged sites? A case-control study

The Loss of Trees with Hollows and its Implications for the Conservation of Leadbeater’s Possum

Collapse rates of hollow-bearing trees following low intensity prescription burns

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