Saturday, May 10, 2008
Louro preto tree
I can be accused of cutting down trees too! I found it necessary to cut a few of them to build the Bosque Santa Lúcia reception center a few years ago and more recently to clear way for the construction of the water box tower. Then, too, I needed some space for a few special trees not found on the trail system. I can't remorse the fact because I've been able to maintain nearly 300 acres of forest since we bought the land in 1981. In that time I've seen a lot of neighboring forests fall and God only knows how much of the Amazon forest has been devastated in the same time span. I started with a secondary forest because the primary forest had been cut more than a hundred years ago, followed by slash and burn agriculture. The place is still secondary forest and will continue to be such for a long, long time, should it be lucky enough to survive the onslaught of the spreading city and suburbanites. Primary forests, like the Tapajós National Forest, are made up of trees hundreds of years old. Some boast an old age of a thousand years! Image: a cut louro preto tree (Ocotea sp.). The family is Lauraceae. Note the very dark heartwood, compared to the sapwood around it.