The survival of these trees is due to their ability to thrive against not only the challenging conditions of nature, but also the choices that humans make.
Weeds take over the space that native plants need
Weeds are plants introduced into the landscape that quickly become invasive. At the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan staff work hard to clear invasive species across the 416 hectares of diverse land in the Garden, with African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata) being the worst of the weeds. It's hard to comprehend the scale of the ecological damage across Australia from plants such as the African Olive, Lantana and Prickly Pear. But by reintroducing plants back into their natural habitat, we can fight back against weeds. Read more here about how the Australian Botanic Garden is removing weeds and making way for native plants.
Trees, because of their height, are natural lightning rods. When a tree falls victim to a strike the damage can be minimal or quite literally explosive. In most trees, the layer just under the bark contains moisture. Since water is a better electrical conductor than wood, lightning striking a tree tends to travel just underneath the bark. The explosive expansion of the lightning's return strike will blast off the bark, and sometimes some of the wood, along the length of the lightning channel. The result is visible scarring along the trunk of the tree. Some trees escape completely unharmed by a direct hit, while others sustain moderate damage to total failure (death). Lightning strikes can kill individual trees, plus some of the plants growing around their base. On a positive note, the dead trees may provide wildlife habitat for years to come.