Wollemi Pine Trees

I remember when the Wollemi Pine trees first became available to the public. I was so keen to eventually plant at least one in our native garden.  I had waited months for the opportunity to get mine, in fact I had it the same week of the release. Little could I have known what fate awaited it.

How easy it would be to just leave the pages here on my site showing the photos of when it first arrived home on that special day and not 'fess up.

Wollemi Pine tree stolen from the pot

I am sad to say they will not be depending on me to get off the endangered plant list. To put it bluntly my Wollemi Pine is dead - very dead.

I had it in a pot near the back door where I could keep an eye on it. It was an amazing little plant and was known fondly as 'WP'. It spent its days in the company of container pots of tomatoes, celery, eggplants, peppers, capsicum and strawberries.

Such a tranquil sight, it had lots of pleasant company, surrounded by healthy, vibrant growth and color - what plant could ask for more.

Just when I thought it was safe with us it all went belly up. I came home from shopping a couple of weeks ago and noticed one of the pots lying on its side with dirt flowing out onto the ground.

At first glance I thought it was a tomato plant as they were in that area. In no way was I concerned, just thought it sorta cute that one of my dogs must have knocked it over while they were rushing off into the garden on yet another 'mission'. 

Then it suddenly dawned on me it wasn't a tomato plant at all, and it was nooo longer cute. It was the pot WP called home - and there was no Wollemi Pine in sight.

The dogs had been really happy to see me arrive home and were jumping around me, that sure changed quickly. I dropped the groceries in a hurry saying 'Oh no, they got the Wollemi Pine'. Suddenly the dogs realised I no longer wanted to play and they became very quiet.

Broken Wollemi Pine branch

We searched around the area and finally found one piece which came from a lower branch. That was just lying on the ground on it's own, no sight of the actual plant at that stage.

Wollemi Pine Trees don't like being out of the ground

Poor WP lying unconscious on the ground

When we finally did find WP it was lying on its side under a tree and seemed reasonably intact.

Wollemi Pine tree roots exposed

The roots were totally bare of soil and it was obvious it had been taken from the original scene of the crime, shaken vigorously and then left alone once they decided it wasn't that much fun to play with afterall.

I could see the original mark where the lower branch had been torn off, but it did seem in reasonable health, I felt hopefull.

WP back home where he belongs

We went through the process of replanting it back into its original pot.

I placed it on the table top to make sure it was away from the dogs and checked on it several times a day for quite a while. But it became obvious the shock had been too much, there was little I could do.

The lower branches started to go brown and that moved up the trunk until all of the branches were brown and crispy, the top had drooped sadly onto its side. There was no hope left for little WP I am sad to say.

Wollemi Pine Trees don't mix well with our dogs

Ezra our Boxer can't even look WP in the face.

Micki our Giant Schnauzer is putting it down to another bad day on the farm.

Rusty our cat checking WP for a pulse.

Our pets reacting to the death of my Wollemi Pine

We have seen enough CSI TV shows and reconstructed the scene of the crime. We feel sure it went down like this.

1. We went out which allowed the 'Perps' (dogs) run of the garden unsupervised.

2. A leaf fell off a tree several miles away. The noise attracted the 'Perps' attention and they fled off to investigate:)

3. In running so fast the giant schnauzer 'Perp #1' (the clumsy one) knocked over the WP (the Vic).

4. Both 'Perps' returned to the scene after the leaf investigation - up until now there is no crime.

5. The boxer 'Perp #2' (who up until now is innocent) noticed 'the Vic' and thought it was a great opportunity to play.

6. In typical boxer style 'Perp #2' took hold of the trunk and shook poor WP 'the Vic' to death.

7. Book 'em Danno!!!!!

Wollemi Pine trees have been capable of surviving 65 million years all alone in the wilderness. We managed to knock it off in 11 months. So, will I get another one? Yes, for sure. In the short time I had my Wollemi Pine it came to be like having another pet.

They are the most amazing plant imaginable. Next time I will keep WP2 sitting on the table until it's ready to be planted into the garden.

To me Wollemi Pine Trees are more like pets than plants.

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