Characteristics of Errinundra Plum-pine Tree (Podocarpus lawrencei) in the Wild

Podocarpus lawrencei
Errinundra plum-pine or Mountain plum-pine is a species of conifer tree native to the highlands of Australia, from southern Tasmania to the highlands of New South Wales.

The Errinundra plum-pine tree grows at an altitude of up to 1,800 m above sea level, often the growth of the tree in the wild forms low shrubs in an open dry land.

The tree can live up to approximately 600-700 years. The growth rings located on the main stem have a variety of shapes, depending on the temperature, growth area, and natural occurrences. The ring has become evident that the Errinundra plum-pine tree can reveal the natural climatic conditions at that time in the Australian mountains.

Because of this, many Errinundra plum-pine trees have been studied after they died due to age or natural disasters.

 

Characteristics of Errinundra Plum-pine Leaf

Podocarpus lawrencei Leaf
Source : flickr.com/RTBG

The leaves are small, 1 cm long, 2-3 mm wide, green, and often reddish, especially in cold weather.

 

The characteristics of Errinundra Plum-pine Fruit

Podocarpus lawrencei Fruit
Source : flickr.com/RTBG

The tree produces small red cone fruit, with arils between 5-10 mm long and one apical seed 6-8 mm long.

The fruit feeds on local birds and marsupials but is poisonous to most other mammals including humans.

 

Characteristics of Errinundra Plum-pine Tree

Podocarpus lawrencei Tree
Source : conifers.org

Although the Errinundra plum-pine tree is generally low growing and is rarely found growing more than 1 meter high, in the highlands of eastern Victoria the tree can reach a height of 15 meters.

This tree is also resistant to drought conditions. It can withstand temperatures of -16 °C to 45 °C and does well in full sun or some shade.

Although the tree is strong, it grows very slowly. Errinundra plum-pine will only grow about 3-5 cm tall every year.

Errinundra plum-pine is classified as rare wood because in its natural habitat it is rare to find trees growing tall and big like in eastern Victoria. Because it is too rare, Errinundra plum-pine wood has a high economic value and the wood is only used for special purposes such as making expensive furniture and wood carving.

In addition to being used for its wood, the Errinundra plum-pine tree is also often planted as an ornamental yard tree or a potted bonsai tree, although it requires extra patience to wait for it to become a large tree.

 

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