The mystery of the white trees of Perth

by Cellobella on Thursday, September 4, 2008 · 6 comments

For the last few years when driving past the man-made lake on Mounts Bay Road in Perth I’ve wondered why all the trees are white.

The white trees of Perth

The kids always ask me why, and I, like the guy on that ad – you know the Great Wall of China is to keep the rabbits out guy – make up some rubbish because I don’t know.

Like: “It’s the dust from the roadworks where they are building the railway.” Which of course didn’t hold water after the railway was opened last year…

The other day I decided enough was enough. I was going to get to the bottom of this for once and for all. I stopped the car, got out and investigated, Nancy Drew style.

These trees look as if they have been spray-painted and now I can reveal that they have… in a way.

Bird in flight

This bird – and his mates – are the culprits. Up in the branches there is a colony of these black birds (does anyone know what they are)… and that white stuff?

You got it. Guano. Birdshit.

Doh! I should have guessed that.

It was, perhaps not surprisingly, very obvious. It coats the trees from the top to the ground – I’m surprised they can photosynthesise at all.

Mystery solved.

Just call me Nancy.


Lulu September 4, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Wow! That is so weird!

I never would of guessed it was bird poo! hehe! I suppose it makes sense when you start to think about it though!

So did you tell your kids?

Liane September 5, 2008 at 10:33 am

Good work Nancy! Lovely place but not for picnics hey?!

Holidays Australia September 5, 2008 at 8:14 pm

The minerals in the soil and the strong sun causes pigments to discolour, which is why the bark/leaves may have a white appearance.

Cellobella September 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm

That might be true of the bark but I can assure you – the white on the leaves is definitely bird poo!

And yes, I did tell the kids. :)

Fairlie September 7, 2008 at 8:56 am

I love it when people who wonder something for a long time, actually stop, get out and find out an answer. Even if the answer turns out to be a pile of sh*t.

Anita September 9, 2008 at 10:02 am

OMG!! I was wondering THE SAME THING myself! lol.

Here’s the next mystery that has been on my mind for nearly two years. Who the hell are the two people on the billboards above the Cockburn Train station that we can see from the Kwinana Freeway????


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