Rare Australian tree growing in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rare Australian tree growing in Ocean Springs

Frank Gann shows off a pine cone from the Bunya Bunya tree growing in his backyard in Ocean Springs. The rare tree originates in Australia. Its huge pine cones weigh more than six pounds, and are the size of a human head. Frank Gann shows off a pine cone from the Bunya Bunya tree growing in his backyard in Ocean Springs. The rare tree originates in Australia. Its huge pine cones weigh more than six pounds, and are the size of a human head.
6 pound 7 ounce cone 6 pound 7 ounce cone
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Frank Gann and his wife, Marlene, admire the Bunya Bunya pine tree in their yard. It's a very rare tree that originates in Australia.

What's even more rare is the size of the pine cones it releases. This tree's first was six and a half pounds, and the size of a human head.

Gann recalled when it fell, "It woke us up and woke our neighbors across the street up. And we weren't sure until the next morning and Marlene was looking out. Her jaw hit the ground and there it is in the pot. It busted her flower pot."  

So how did the tree get here? Gann said the story goes back 15 years in Florida. 

"We found some Seminole Indians selling a few things and they were selling one of the pine cones. We brought it home and it fell apart and turned into seeds, and that's the one that's left."   

Just how weird is it to have a tree that dates back to the dinosaur age?  

"It's very weird," said Dr. Gary Bachman, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State Extension Service. "If you look at a lot of our pines now and how big the cones are, I think this just goes back to showing some of history of this plant. That it developed in this time where everything was of a bigger scale."

More cones are on the way too, so Frank has to take action.

"We're going to put a metal roof here on the back porch to protect us and we're going to probably do some metal roofing on the side of the roof, possibly," Gann explained.  "But that tree is going to grow to 150 feet tall in 500 years, so I don't think my house will be here."  

So when you have one of the rarest pine trees in the world in your backyard in Ocean Springs that drops a six and a half pound pine cone, let's just say it makes for a great conversation starter. 

"Friends and acquaintances just kind of get a real kick out of it because it's all sharp and sticky and hurts them and it's so weird and grows the way it does," Gann said.  "Yeah, we get a kick out it."

The Ganns say once the pine cone breaks open, they plan on giving some of the seedlings to friends and family, so they can try their luck at growing their own Bunya Bunya.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.  

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

    Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:09 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:09:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
  • SC dentist has ladies flocking for teeth cleanings after 'In My Fillings' challenge

    SC dentist has ladies flocking for teeth cleanings after 'In My Fillings' challenge

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:53 PM EDT2018-07-20 17:53:18 GMT
    A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately. (Source: Constantine Dental/Facebook)A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately. (Source: Constantine Dental/Facebook)
    A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately. (Source: Constantine Dental/Facebook)A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately. (Source: Constantine Dental/Facebook)

    A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately.  

    More >>

    A South Carolina dentist has officially won the Drake-inspired  "In My Feelings" challenge and the ladies of the internet are letting it be known that they must go to the dentist immediately.  

    More >>
  • Security camera catches Savannah waitress fending off apparent groper

    Security camera catches Savannah waitress fending off apparent groper

    Friday, July 20 2018 10:07 AM EDT2018-07-20 14:07:49 GMT

    The footage, captured at VinnieVanGoGo's in City Market, shows the woman throwing Ryan Cherwinski to the ground after he appeared to touch her buttocks. 

    More >>

    The footage, captured at VinnieVanGoGo's in City Market, shows the woman throwing Ryan Cherwinski to the ground after he appeared to touch her buttocks. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly