One of the most common questions visitors to Kings Park ask recently is ‘how is the big Boab tree?'

Boab bruises healing wellView image slideshow

The mighty Giant Boab, affectionately known as ‘Gija Jumulu', captured WA hearts when it was transported 3,200 km from the East Kimberley to Perth in 2008.

However, six days spent lying on the back of a truck did come at some cost to the magnificent tree.

On planting, the arbor team noticed small bruised areas on one side of the trunk caused by its own 37-tonne weight during the journey. Investigation revealed these ‘bruises' to be caused by bark damage and small areas of decaying tissue.

The tree's overall health, including root growth, canopy growth and flowering, were all closely monitored over its first five years of establishment in Kings Park.

In 2010, a decision was made to carefully remove the bruised sections of tissue to aid its recovery.

According to senior arborist Jeremy Thomas, the team was amazed by what they found under the damaged tissue.

'At the bottom of absolutely every wound we found healthy new tissue developing, known as "wound wood" or "callus".

'Every single wound was in a state of active repair, generated from deep inside the tree. In a normal tree, we would expect this repair to take ten to fifteen years, but in the Boab, just five years.

'The tree's pock-marked appearance may look worrying to some visitors, but in fact, it is doing amazingly well.

'We are astounded at the incredible resilience of this species (Adansonia gregorii) to self-repair', said Jeremy.

At around 750 years old, Gija Jumulu could be called a ‘teenage Boab', as the species is believed to have a life expectancy of 2,000 years or more.

The Boab is expected to flower for a few short days around April this year.

Layers of wound wood show the Boab's amazing recovery. Photo: J. Thomas.

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