Thoughts about a tree once thought to be extinct
There is something wonderful about a city filled with trees. The British habit of collecting and planting trees from all parts of the world has been copied in Portland, and late this afternoon, in the Portland Arboretum, I saw autumn-tinged trees shimmering in the light, and heard the sweet, occasional call of a Swainson's Thrush.
In 1994, a park ranger by the name of David Noble was hiking through a remote canyon in Australia when he found a grove of evergreens he could not identify. They had leaves like the fronds of a fern and some of them were 130 feet tall. He took a sample to experts, who identified it as a tree that lived 90 million years ago, which they believed had become extinct.
They named it Wollemia nobilis, the Wollemi Pine. Since there are so few left in the world, they have propagated it, and are now selling baby Wollemis in Australia, Great Britain, and America, hoping to increase its chances of survival.
I would like to see the Wollemi here in the Arboretum, with the Sequoia and magnolia and beech and oak trees, but as it does not like to be any colder than 23 degrees F, I'm not sure I will.