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Pandora right here in Tararua?

Living kahikatea stump - photo Bill Wallace

 “The trees and plant life of Pandora have electrochemical connections between their roots that effectively act as neurons, creating a planet-wide “brain” that has achieved sentience, which is known to the Na’vi as Eywa...”(Avatarwiki).

Sounds exotic, but have we perhaps got the same thing happening with our kahikatea right here in Tararua?

QEII rep Bill Wallace noticed this odd-looking stump when out on a monitoring visit. The kahikatea tree was cut down approximately 60 years ago. Before it was felled it had obviously grown into the tree beside it at the base, joining phloem layers (the layer that carries the tree sap) in the process. The centre of the stump has rotted away but the outside has stayed alive by receiving sap from the tree beside it. The cambium layer (the cell dividing layer below the phloem layer) has continued to grow, hence the growth bulging up and over the old saw cut.  The stump is increasing in girth each year just like the tree beside it. So we have a living, growing stump!

Posted 7 November 2013

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