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Mountain Ash:
Spar Stage

Spar Stage

spar stage forest
Spar Stage Forest
Photographer - Luke Simpkin
Source - Museum Victoria

Spar stage is reached from about 30 years until about 100 years. Growth is rapid and the trunks remain thin relative to the increasing height, however gradually the crown begins to flatten out and lose its conical shape. There is still tree mortality: there is a density of approximately 300 tree per hectare at 40 years. Leaf, bark and branch debris continues to thicken on the forest floor. Below ground, there is unlikely to be any remaining tap root, instead lateral and sinker roots develop further. Most fine roots are in the top 60cm of soil. Buttresses commonly develop at the tree's base, adding support to the rapidly growing tree.

After 25-30 years, Common Cassinia Cassinia aculeata begins to decline. Hazel Pomaderris Pomaderris aspera, Musk Daisy Bush Olearia argophylla and Blanket Leaf Bedfordia arborescens dominate the understorey. Hazel Pomaderris goes into decline after 100 years. It is a heavy flowering species, and can produce up to 11 million seeds/ha. These seeds can be stored in the soil, and it is a species that can survive very frequent fires.

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