This windswept island is one of the most isolated places on Earth. Campbell Island is a rugged outcrop in the Southern Ocean between New Zealand and Antarctica. According to Guinness World Records 2023 “A distant tree“, also known as “the loneliest tree in the world”. It is the Sitka spruce (Paicea chitchensis), an exotic species originally from Alaskan trees.
Guinness calls the tree “unique” because its closest association is 250 km away in the Auckland Islands. Tree enthusiasts and scientists from all over the world travel there to see the spruce, which is just nine meters tall. It is oddly shaped, widely spread and not thin. According to the report, year after year, scientists have removed the top to serve as a Christmas tree. Wind also destroys wood in severe weather.
Recently, this tree has become world news. Not because he is alone there, but because he is surrounded by colorful herbaceous flowers to rich flora and fauna (Megaherbs) to sea lions and albatrosses. No, researchers from New Zealand have found that this tree ‘can reveal the secrets of CO storage’.2 In the Southern Ocean”, etc Guardian reports .
The age of the tree has been established at over a hundred years, it was planted in 1900 by the then Governor of New Zealand, Lord Runfurly. That is why this tree is also known as Ranfurli tree. Until 1973, the Sitka spruce faced competition from the more isolated Ténéré tree, an acacia in the desert of Niger. He was also invited Arbre Perdu, the lost tree, because no other tree grows within 400 kilometers. It was considered a pilgrimage site and a landmark for caravans in the desert until a drunken truck driver broke the tree.
How could that century-old lone tree on Campbell Island solve climate questions?
How could that century-old lone tree on Campbell Island solve climate questions? Very simply, Jocelyn Turnbull, an Antarctic scientist from New Zealand, says: “If you study growth rings, you can find out how much carbon is stored in them. Because the Southern Ocean is not just about CO2 Absorbs but gives back, this return can be read by taking a ‘core sample’ in the tree, with a deep hole in the trunk. That way you can understand the speed at which it happens.
Another scientist, Australian biologist Jonathan Palmer, considers the tree “a historian, a chronicler of human involvement on Earth.” “Seeing the tree for the first time was a great feeling,” he says in an email. It was the year 2013. The study of wood is the study of time. His ability to survive in the strange southern hemisphere makes him all the more fascinating. So a newbie. One Tree, Many Stories.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2022 issue of the newspaper
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