Capalaba couple stumble upon unusual tree as Redlands plant mysteries continue

THE mystery of Redlands' plant life continues, with an unusual tree capturing the attention of a Capalaba couple.

TREE: Murray and Edith Thomas made an unusual discovery near Coolwynpin Creek at Capalaba. Photo: Brian Williams

TREE: Murray and Edith Thomas made an unusual discovery near Coolwynpin Creek at Capalaba. Photo: Brian Williams

Murray Thomas, a retired Lutheran Pastor, said he and wife Edith were walking their dog when they stumbled upon a scribbly gum with a bizarre branch structure near Coolnwynpin Creek.

It comes just months after Redland Bay man Richard Butler found a pineapple growing without a top in his garden, calling it a freak of nature.

Thorneside resident Michael Yonwin, a pineapple grower with about 40 years experience, said he had made the same discovery on two occasions but could not put his finger on what had caused the deformity.

Mr Thomas said the tree near his house was unlike anything he had ever seen.

"I have been around trees a bit because I have spent time as a farmer, but I have never seen anything like that or heard of anything like that before," Mr Thomas said.

"I don't know whether it was done by human intervention or if it happened naturally."

Mr Thomas had been walking past the area for about two years but had never noticed the tree.

"It is back in the bush a little bit and there are a number of white barked gum trees in that area," he said.

"It is a huge tree. It would be 20 or 30 metres high.

"There seem to be quite a few of them growing along there. They must be natural to the area."

Redlands Tree Service arborist Andrew Stovell said the limbs on the tree had fused together in a process known as self grafting.

He had seen the phenomenon about 10 times during his 20 year career.

"Self grafting occurs when two limbs rub (together) and this wears away the bark cambium," he said.

"When new yearly wood is laid down each limb starts to accommodate the other and they fuse together gradually.

"Self grafting limbs on eucalyptus racemosa are not common."

He said Mr Thomas should have felt lucky to have come across the tree.

"What makes this one great is the shape," Mr Stovell said.

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