I got an old and big TAGASASTE...!!!:)

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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,097
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Ha..., you will be thinking, what in a !%$#&@ hell, is TAGASASTE...???:confused:

NOTE: This is going to be, as normal, an "elongated" post, if you don't like reading, go straight to the pics and enjoy but if you do, you will miss the best part of the story, guaranteed...!:wink::biggrin:


Here we go...!

Well, don't be disappointed, I didn't know it had this name until I searched, as I always know it as Lucern tree/shrub, a well know and common cattle feeder used as a supplement to fat the cattle up. In fact, every animal around like this stuff, from the birds to the horses, sheep, cattle, lamas, kangaroos, and everything in between, including the "gazillion" insects and bugs that live in the soil...!:eek:

Planted as a shrub (pic attached) and let grow for a year or so, before the cattle/stock is introduced to it, then, and after most soft green tops have been eaten, the stock is moved out and the shrubs are left to rejuvenate for another year. After the shrubs develop a fair size trunks/base and some height, making then stronger/more resilient, stock can be left around it all year around as, animals eat what they can reach as the shrub, keeps shooting new growth ...!

Some of these shrubs, if left alone, after the animals have eaten all the low shoots, one main trunk then develop, transforming into a tree like shape that never grows too tall but it can grow a considerable size trunk if it survives to all the natural "predators" this "legume" offers to those creatures...!

While fast growing as a shrub, the same can not be said as a tree, the transformation is such that the growth becomes very slow, as most of the nutrients are used to fill the trunk instead of producing green foliage.

Life expectancy is of about 25 years, very rarely they reach half of that age, and even more rarely they survive passed it, just as the case of this tree that was planted together with thousands of others in a 10 acre block/paddock, about 40 years ago, according to the person that owns the land and the one that planted them.

In those days, that property just out of my town (2km) was a good cattle station, where Lucern was used with great success. The property was divided in many of the 10 acre lots and the Lucern was planted, where the cattle would rotate from one paddock to the other, allowing the Leucern to re-grow well.

I found this "solo" Lucern tree, yes, it is/was the only "thing" standing above grass level in the whole 10 acres, as it was located about 50 yards from the boundary fence of the local Chinese Vegetable Farm, to which the wife and I do a little maintenance in exchange for some veggies and any of the wood that needs to be removed from the trees growing within the farm limits.

One of these tree species is a small(ish) Radiate Pine plantation, about 15 years old, of which I was the opportunity the be the "guardian" (look after type thing...!) as they have not a clue about trees...!:frown:

When I first saw it, 6 years ago, it was doing very well indeed, a magnificent tree to look at, when flowering. That was the biggest I ever saw so I got excite about the prospective that I would still be around when this old tree would give up, as I knew that it could possibly last many more years.

Every time I went passed, I always wonder why was only one tree standing in the whole paddock and why a Lucerne, and what made it survive this long...??? I never made any attempt to find out who the owner of the property was, and ask so, I waited, and waited...!

Was in fact a reason and an answer to all my questions, as I found out when I went looking for this tree owner (last Sunday 3-7-11), after I realized that, was something wrong with this tree about Christmas time last year. One half of the tree was looking brown in colour and not a lot of leafs on that side, while the other half had a lush green.

I knew that the end was near, but I needed the whole tree to die before I would have any chance to get permission to cut it out, after all, was a reason why that tree was left behind, all these years...! Last month, about the middle of it, I took my binoculars with me, to get a good look at the tree, as 50 yards was the closest I could get, without jumping the fence and I could have done it, just to have a closer look but that boundary fence was built a lot higher than normal, to stop the kangaroos to go through (which never worked, and never will..!) but, was enough for me not being able to get over.

With the help of the binoculars, I could see that the tree had in fact died, this time, was no doubt nor any chance for the tree to recoup, the whole base was compromised with rot and that I believe had to do with the extreme amount of rain we have had these last 2 years, a lot more than normal, making the soil water saturated, something the Lucern trees don't like that much...!

I knew that I had to act fast as these type trees go from lush green to dust/mulch in no time at all, every month for now on would mean a loss of a great % of "usable" wood so, I got the wife and dogs in the car and went for a drive...!

Last Sunday was a nice day, weather wise, a short brake that I knew wouldn't last long but I decided to not take all the gear I would need if permission would be granted to remove this tree, as I need to walk to it and see the condition of the ground to establish if I could take the Wagon and trailer close to it or I had to use the quad bike to get around as the ground looked quite soft/wet.


So, we found the owner and after we explained what we would use the wood for (turning), we were given permission the cut it down, as the owner and wife, knew of the condition of that tree already, as I found out.
I also find out everything that had to do with that tree and how they (the owners) kept protecting it through out all these years so, a nice Lucern bowl is in order as a "thank you" gift, as soon as the wood dries enough for me to do so...!

All the information I provided so far about this tree, was obviously given by the person that planted it, as I got to know why it survived from the cattle feeding times, in fact an amazing story...!:)
We endup cutting it yesterday (5-7-11) as we were expecting a brake in the weather for the morning so down we went with the quad on the back of the trailer the tools and the whole family...!:eek::wink:
We worked fast as the weather didn't look that would be dry for much longer, the paddock was wet so the quad was a must and by the time we got home, about lunch time, the rain come down in buckets for a couple of hours...!:eek::rolleyes:

After the cattle was introduce into the Lucern plantation, after that first year of protected growth, and after the cattle was moved into the next paddock, that boundary fence that I found impossible to go though (over), was in fact erected when the owner realized that while the Lucern was growing, the kangaroos were coming from everywhere to eat the sweet and sweet new shrubs.

So he decided that after the cattle would eat what was left, he would remove the old fence and built a new kangaroo proof fence, (sure, he wished...!). All the wire from the old fence was pilled up about 50 yards from the paddock's corner (vegetable farm and other neighbor next door), the wire was put in a "little clearance" has he said, looking like the cattle have eaten the Lucern right to ground level so nothing would re-grow in that patch.

Little did he know that, underneath the soil, was the roots of a healthy Lucern tree that, was ready to shoot as soon as it had some water (rain) and in the right time of the year. He remembers to have seen this green Lucern shrub make its way through the big pile of barbwire and other fence materials, on the second year after the wire was put there, obviously the wire did hide the shrub for the first year of growth.

He saw it grow and he saw how the cattle couldn't get near it, because of the barbwire surrounding this shrub, at least 3 meters all around it. Kangaroos didn't bother either (they are not stupid, you know...???:biggrin:) so, this shrub kept growing well protected by the wire but also, as he found out, all the iron going into the soil from the fence rusting and rotting away throughout the years, did in fact work as an energy boost to the tree growth.

With time, the shrub developed a main strong trunk, all the other shoots died off (nature rule, the strongest will survive...!) and it kept growing well protected. According the the owner, about the middle of the 1990's, he stopped dealing with cattle or using the property for cattle feeding and the paddocks became deserted, he had no intentions to let the new shoots of the Lucern to take over the whole place and become a useless jungle so he poisoned all the shrubs still remaining, and as they would shoot out, all but this Lucern that by then was a considerable size tree but, he noticed that the tree was struggling/suffocating with some high tensile wire around its base so, he decided to literally cut all the wire around the tree and remove what was left of the pile of barbwire and take it way to the farm "dump".

You still can see in the pics of the tree trunk, the "gashes" creatyed by the barbwire while the tree was trying to grow...!:eek:

As you can see, the property owner did became quite accustom to this tree and went through a lot of work to let it keep growing until the day it would die. He knew well, how fragile these trees can be and how long their life expectancy is, one more reason why he found "interesting" the resilience of this one shrub/tree, since the very beginning.

The farmer's owner wife admitted to us that, when she was younger (in their 70's now) she would go for a walk all the time from the house to that single tree in the middle on nothing else, she would seat under it for a little while in the shade before she would walk back to the house (about 1 mile away)...!:)

They were some how pleased to know that, this old tree was not over yet, I would bring it to life in more ways than they though possible. According to them, they were going to let nature to take its course and let it be...!:frown:

They also knew that, it would take no time now, for this tree to completely be "consumed" by nature and its creatures, the idea to have it used for something useful and beautiful did please them immensely...!:biggrin:

Now, this tree is in our hands and I will try to make them proud...!:wink::)

Not being of the "greedy" type, this tree wood will be shared with everyone...!

PLEASE, remember that this is an introductory thread and not a "classified add", you are welcome to express your thoughts but please, restrain yourself from making any orders here. A classified add will be open when some of this wood is ready for sale...!

Thank you...!:biggrin:

Cheers
George
 

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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,097
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Thanks guys...!

Here are some of the samples I have done from this wood, so far...!

Enjoy...!

Cheers
George
 

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