The Four Aces

I’ve always loved the majestic Karri trees in WA’s south west. They’re within the top twenty tallest trees in the world, and one of the tallest in Australia. I’ve probably driven past the sign post to The Four Aces before, but not knowing what the Four Aces were, I’ve never stopped to look. Thanks to the ‘Experience Nannup’ app, I now know what they are, and knowing they’re four, very tall, very well matched karri trees all in a perfect row – well I just had to go and have a look.

We were the only ones in the car park, so had the short walk circuit (less than 1 km) to ourselves.

We had thought the four trees to the right of the car were the four aces, so took lots of photos before we started on the short circuit. The karri forest was just gorgeous.

A pretty purple creeper was knitting the undergrowth together. I’m not sure if it belongs there, and if it does I’m sure it will be doing a good job of whatever job it’s supposed to do. If it doesn’t belong there (and I suspect it doesn’t), then it must surely be wrecking havoc.

The young sapling anchored down at either end with the purple creeper twinning along it’s length.

It was as we neared the end of the walk that we realised we had mistaken the group of trees at the beginning of the walk for the Four Aces. The Four were unmistakable once you came upon them. Evenly spaces, and almost identical in height and size – they could be quad-triplets.

Karri trees start out in life as seed smaller than a grain of rice. There’s usually no order or pattern to the way they grow, it’s survival of the fittest as they reach for the skies with the healthiest of the young trees putting out a network of roots, and a leafy crown to suppress it’s slower growing neighbours. It’s unusual to find four trees such as The Four Aces growing together in such a straight line. It’s thought that they grew from the ashes of a huge karri log after a bushfire with the rich ash bed of the log giving them a boost of rich nutrients to get a head start on the seedlings around them. They’re now estimated to be over 70 metres (approximately 230 feet) tall, and around 250 years old, which is past the prime of life for a karri. Their growth has slowed down, and their canopy is thinning out. They still have a good few years of life left in them though, and will perhaps still live for 100 or more years yet, but one day other trees in the forest will take their place. I doubt they’ll reach the magnificence of these four beauties though.

It was only by setting the cameral to panorama and taking a vertical panorama shot that we could capture the whole of the trees. Paul managed to get the best shot of them. It shows off the size and the bark beautifully.

There’s a campground nearby that Paul’s be wanting to go to for a while now, so we thought we check it out while we were in the area. I’m pleased we did – it’s beautiful, but I doubt we would get the caravan through. In places, there was barely room for the car to squeeze between the trees on the track. That would have been horrendous if we’d tackled it with the caravan behind us. There would have been no-where to turn around and we probably would have had to back out down around three kms of bush track. It’s now off the list! We will have to find a forest campground amidst the karri trees though. Trouble is most karri forests are in national parks so there’s 1080 baits around, and therefore domestic dogs aren’t allowed. There’ll be one somewhere….. There’s nothing like living amongst such giants, if only for a day or two, to humble one into realising we are just little insignificant specks in this great big world, and that’s something that doesn’t hurt for any of us to be reminded of from time to time.

6 thoughts on “The Four Aces

  1. 250 years old with another 100 or so to go. Nature always surprises and delights.
    I can imagine the tension headache that might result from trying to reverse a caravan along a goat track!!
    Love the name: the Four aces. Paul did well to capture them in that shot.

    Like

    1. He did, didn’t he. I tried, but couldn’t quite capture the right light to show off the bark. Mind you, no photo can capture the sheer magnificence of such forest giants, nor the ambience the forest creates.

      Liked by 1 person

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