What’s wrong in this picture?

This is looking toward some podocarp trees (rimu and kahikatea) towering above the canopy, in Rangiwahia Scenic Reserve (western flanks of the Ruahine Ranges).

Need a clue?  There is something out of its usual position.

You’ll probably have to look closely.

Another clue – top centre.

Answer: several tens of metres above the ground, reaching above the widow-makers (Collospermum microspermum) perched at the top of the middle, large tree, is a juvenile lancewood (the skinny, upright ‘stick’).

Lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolius) trees usually grow on the ground; they are not typically epiphytes.  However, this ‘high-flier’ seems to be doing fine, and must have a fantastic view!

6 Responses

  1. Leon Perrie

    Hi Phil,
    Yes, that would be a strange sight! I will try to remember to look out for them when I’m next back in that area.
    Thanks, Leon

  2. Phil Garnock-Jones

    That’s doubly interesting to me because I’ve noticed in the same locality (track to Rangiwahia Hut) quite a number of large Phyllocladus growing in to tops of Libocedrus trees. They seem too big to be epiphytes and I wonder if the cedars are hollow so the Phyllocladus can send a root down the centre of the trunk to the ground.

  3. Leon Perrie

    When mature, it’ll be like a lollipop in the sky…

  4. Canopy Awnings

    Nice catch! Would not find it above the canopy without clue.

    It must look fantastic when the tree is mature and adopts a typical horoeka tree shape.

  5. lydia chin

    This is a fantastic photo shot.
    Should contribute this to our musuem for photography collection.

    An eye for the sky! Well Done.

  6. Denise

    Ha ha ha this is great! a tree growing on top of a tree! maybe the lancewood knows something we don’t??


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