In the final episode of Catalyst special Australia’s Favourite Tree, Ann Jones and Paul West are on a mission to find a candidate from QLD, ACT, WA and NSW.
Ann and Paul meet locals and scientists to help understand the clever and complex lives of some of our most iconic trees.
In QLD, Paul meets the ‘gangster’ of the rainforest – the strangler fig. They start life in the branches of a host tree, before slowly strangling them to death. But as they grow, they become the great ‘provider’ – supporting hundreds of animals and plants.
In the alpine region of the ACT, Ann meets an ‘Aussie battler’ – the Snow Gum. Blasted by wind, snow and sun these resilient trees are facing their greatest threat yet. Ann joins scientists trying to solve the problem of why so many are dying.
In outback WA, Ann finds the Sandalwood tree. Its heady scent has seen it logged almost to extinction in the wild. She discovers why it’s so important in the desert ecosystem, while Paul steps back into deep time and explores the ancient Gondwana Rainforests. He’s on the hunt for one of the rarest trees in the competition – the Nightcap Oak.
Now armed with the stories of eight remarkable trees, our panel of expert judges assess them on three criteria – their ecological significance, their cultural importance and their aesthetics. And finally, they reveal – Australia’s Favourite Tree!
8:30pm Tuesday on ABC.