Jomon Sugi's been in the news a couple times this month.
|Jomon Sugi: Possibly the oldest tree in Japan.|
Since Jomon Sugi is hollow, it's age cannot be determined, but it may be the oldest of all sugi, possibly one of the first to grow on Yakushima after the super-volcano that buried southern Japan up through Tokyo exploded 7,300 years ago. Jomon Sugi survived Edo-logging and went undiscovered by 20th century clear-cut loggers until 1966. Surely the publicity around the discovery of this ageless tree (first called "Oh-Iwa Sugi") helped environmentalists in the fight that shut down Yakushima's logging villages in 1970.
|The front-middle branch of Jomon Sugi|
is rotting and may soon fall.
Back in Japan's bubble days there was even serious talk of building a cable-car up to Jomon Sugi. I imagine that would have sealed it's death.
|The stump of Okina Sugi, which|
fell in 2010. Could Jomon Sugi
meet a similar fate?
Maybe an optimist could consider this as natural pruning, but two branches in ten years? . . . I'd like to think this tree could live forever, but I feel inclined to suggest you visit Jomon Sugi before it's too late.
In happier news, the Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Center is hosting a competition to name twelve clones of Jomon Sugi. These were grown from the limb that fell in 2005. Send a postcard with your name, age, address, and phone number along with the clone name and reason to the Culturual center at Miyanoura 823-1, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima-ken, 891-4205. Deadline is December 24, 2012.