This beautifully written book tells the story of Australia's giant eucalypt, the Mountain Ash, which grows in the region north and east of Melbourne. A single tree can reach a height of 120 feet in 20 years, making it the tallest hardwood in the world. While celebrating the steep, wet, dense eastern forests of Australia, Tom Griffiths shows that they can be far from benign. Dependent on fire for their survival, this awesome natural vegetation can become a source of destruction, forcing people to confront their relationship with the bush. Visited seasonally by indigenous people and later a site of mining and saw-milling for settlers, as well as contested ground for conservationists, the life cycles and fire cycles of the forests span millennia. Tom Griffiths tells the environmental, ecological and social history of a unique Australian forest, and, in doing so, tells the story of the continent as a whole.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press