Vine tree

    (Ventilago viminalis)


Also known as: Supplejack

Vine tree starts out life as a bundle of very tough vines supporting each other and competing for dominance. The pictures here show specimens at the various stages beginning with a mass of small vines. The next picture shows a tree that has reduced to just 4 vines and is flowering 'en masse'. The third picture shows a mature tree which still isn't quite as big as they can get (the tree to right of it is a very big Dead Finish).
This big old specimen has been shading mourners at the Bogantungan cemetery for who knows how long.
By nature of the way this plant grows, straight logs rarely happen and it is often attacked by lychtid borers.
A couple of big specimens - the 'vines' twisting around each other very visible on the tree at right.
I read an article in an issue of the IWCS 'World of Wood' journal that claimed that Vine Tree wound its way around host trees  and 'consumed' the host in the same manner as a Strangler Fig or similar species. Sorry to disappoint but this is a load of rubbish. In my daily travels around Central Queensland where Vine Trees are among the most common species encountered, I have observed literally thousands of specimens growing on all manner of country and I have never once found one using another tree for support in any manner. It does sometimes occur very close to another tree, but for no other reason than that is where the winged seed abruptly ended its flight, and if it does dominate eventually, it is merely due to the trees longevity. 
I have been told that further west it has been seen winding its way around other trees but I have yet to see it myself. If any one reading this knows of a Vine tree coiled around another tree, I'd love to see a photo or two!


A friend recently took me to his property near Gindie to show me this awesome specimen. Easily the biggest Vine Tree I have seen, and I suspect whoever cleared the block but left it standing was equally impressed.
The timber is very hard and very heavy but also very beautiful (of course!). It appears very stable during drying with little movement or cracking but then it also appears dry as soon as it's cut - not a wet tree at all.
The small bowl pictured is the only thing I have turned from it so far and I found it sanded and finished very well.


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