The Otway region, located in Southern Australia, is home to some of the most magnificent and majestic trees in the world. The Otway forests are known for their tall and ancient giants that have stood the test of time. Let’s explore some of the most notable big trees in the Otway.
Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans)
The Mountain Ash is the tallest flowering plant in the world and is primarily found in the Otway ranges. These towering trees can reach heights of over 300 feet, making them an awe-inspiring sight. The Mountain Ash is known for its smooth white bark, which peels away in long ribbons, revealing shades of pink and gray underneath.
Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii)
The Myrtle Beech, also known as the Tasmanian Beech, is a large rainforest tree that thrives in the cool and wet conditions of the Otway region. These trees have a unique trunk, which appears smooth and grayish from a distance but is actually covered in a rough, flaky bark up close. The Myrtle Beech can grow up to 150 feet tall and is an essential part of the Otway ecosystem.
Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon)
The Blackwood is a common tree species found in the Otway region. These medium-sized trees have distinctive dark brown to black heartwood, hence the name “Blackwood.” The bark of the Blackwood is rough and fissured, providing a stark contrast to the tree’s smooth, golden foliage. Blackwoods are highly valued for their timber, which is used in furniture making and cabinetry.
Tree Ferns (Dicksonia antarctica)
The Otway region is also home to an abundance of tree ferns, particularly the Dicksonia antarctica. These ancient and primitive plants can grow up to 20 feet high and have large fronds that develop a delicate lacy appearance as they unfurl. The tree ferns add a unique and enchanting element to the Otway forests, providing shade and shelter for various creatures.
Prickly Moses (Acacia verticillata)
The Prickly Moses is a small to medium-sized tree species commonly found in the Otway region. These trees have dense foliage with needle-like leaves, providing excellent protection against grazing animals. The Prickly Moses produces beautiful clusters of yellow flowers in spring, attracting pollinators and adding vibrant color to the Otway landscapes.
The big trees of the Otway region are not only visually stunning but also play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They provide habitat for a wide range of plants and animals, contribute to carbon sequestration, and help maintain the overall balance of the forest ecosystem. Exploring these magnificent trees in the Otway is an experience that should not be missed.