The Red Tingle tree, South Western Australia
Photo by Michael Schwab
The Red Tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii) in Walpole Nornalup National Park is one of the tallest trees in the state and can measure up to 24 metres round at the base and grow to a height of 75 metres.
The trees often have shallow root systems and grow a buttressed base. Forest fires often act to hollow out the base of the trees creating a large cavity. Red Tingle Trees are found just outside of Walpole, in Western Australia’s southwest corner, and have to be one of Australia’s most spectacular trees.
With circumferences of up to 22m, these giants are exceptionally wide at the base as well as reasonably tall, growing to heights of 30m.
The trees have very shallow root and are often hollowed out by fire. The resulting cavern can be so wide that tourist of a bygone era would often pose with their cars parked inside one of these special trees!
Now parking a car inside a tree with shallow roots, and susceptible to erosion is a pretty bad idea, so the practise is long since banned.
The distribution of tingle trees is very limited. Since the last ice age (about 6.5 thousand years) rainfall has decreased in the south west, and the tingles only manage to cling on, on the tops of hills that receive more than 1200mm of rainfall.
This interesting species is also very long last. Tingle trees can live for more than 400 years, which is exceptional given the frequency of forest fires in the south west. The word “tingle” is believed to be similar for the aboriginal name for the species. This part of the Australia is the traditional land of the Bibbulmun people of the Nyungar nation.
There are two other species of tingle trees, the yellow tingle (Eucalyptus guiltoylei), and Rate’s tingle (Eucalytus brevistylis) both of which do not have the giant hollowed out caverns like the red tingle.
If you would like to see Tingle trees on an active adventure, our Walpole to Denmark tour on the Bibbulmun Track, passes right through their home land. I think you will agree, they are a stunning part of nature.