To Humans With Love, A Huon Pine

My dear Earthlings,

I stand here, firmly rooted in the soggy bank of the Gordon River.  You've kindly given me the name "Huon Pine," though I find it rather funny, for you see, I do not belong to the ‘pine family’ at all. It is like calling an octopus a multi-armed squid’. My other less popular name is ‘Lagarostrobos’. Yeah, I can imagine it's a little hard on your human tongue. The wallabies call all Huon Pine trees by this name though.

Oh plus, you can only find us in the rugged wilderness of Tasmania. Nowhere else on this magnificent planet. Phew, no worrying about keeping up with distant cousins.

Budding Beginnings

Gordon River in Tasmania

My story began aeons ago, well before the dawn of the internet, years before the moon landing, preceding the First World War, and even preceding the Renaissance. So, obviously not 20, not 200, but more than 2000 years ago!

In the years that have passed, I have witnessed Homosapiens evolve from the first set of foragers to the ones who snap away my photos from one of those Gordon cruises. By the way, I always try to sway my branches for the photos.

In the beginning I was just a seed and I fell from my mother’s seed cone to the inky Gordon River…

The Art Of Being Patient

Evidently, that was not the end of my story. If it were, I wouldn’t be here to write this. Well, I did fall into the river, and it was a blessing. The river carried me to another spot along the bank. It took me a few years to germinate, but when I finally became a tiny seedling I fell in love with this big, beautiful world.

While your human lives are just fleeting moments in the grand scheme of things, mine are years. It took me years to be what I am today, my dear reader. Unlike other trees you may know, the Huon Pine trees do not boast a swift growth rate. I grew rather slowly, inching skyward one fraction of an inch each year. Yes, that slow.

That is how, my darlings, I learnt the art of being patient.  And, this slow growth rate is the secret of my long life. An ounce of patience can go a long way. Clearly.

Love Thyself

If you did not know, Gordon River has such clear water that stays perfectly still. It is my mirror and I like spending my time looking at my reflection. My branches are long and they are arched elegantly. I have thick pendulous branchlets. They look like tiny green bushes. Oh, and my trunks are dark and strong.

My wonderful leaves are spirally arranged. Very neat work, if you ask me.  Seeing myself in the river against the vast blue sky, brings me so much joy! So does seeing my fellow Huon Pines, for I know they could go away any day. I have seen it happen before…

Stranger Danger

You humans first stumbled upon my kind in the depths of your exploration and were fixated on the ways in which you could exploit us. Apparently, our wood ( dense and rot-resistant, may I add) made us a prized-find.

So, y'all took down my neighbours – to make your boats, your fancy cabinets, floors, and anything and everything that you thought should last long. But as you have come to learn, using us for your gain comes with pain. If we go extinct, the Tamanian ecosystem would be considerably affected. In recent times, some good Samaritans have set out to protect my ancient brethren and me. It is good that you have finally realised that uprooting us does more bad than good.

What you don't seem to have fully understood is that ancient beings like us are scattered  all across this planet. We await to be loved, cherished, and respected, and not to be exploited, removed, or turned into dining tables. The responsibility to protect us and the wilderness we inhabit rests with you, the self-proclaimed highest intelligent beings of the Earth.

With age-old wisdom and the strength of a thousand years, I bid you farewell, dear Earthlings.


A Huon Pine.