As mallee can re-sprout from its large underground lignotuber (the mallee root
) after removal of the above-ground parts (a process called 'coppicing'), it can be harvested every three to five years and remain in a state of rapid growth, producing biomass at a low financial and energy cost, and absorbing water and carbon dioxide.
The varied impressions he gained as he puffed his pipe while watching a barbed wire fence being fixed, shearers changing combs or from chatting with farmers and their wives around the dying embers of a mallee root
fire, were later to be reflected in the contents of books lining the shelves of public libraries throughout Western Australia.
who succeeded because they never admitted defeat." (10) Although the region's name derives from bushland that the local Indigenous people considered to be a supporter of life, (11) for the water in mallee roots, (12) European occupation since the mid-1800s has been narrated largely as a struggle on a frontier "where coping with disastrous drought was part of the pioneer lifestyle." (13) "Disastrous drought" led to grim periods of exodus: as environmental historian Tom Griffiths wrote, of "failure" so distressing that families abandoned their holdings "in the middle of the night" (22).
"Mallee Roots: A Brief History of Victoria's Northwest." Park Watch 178 (1994).
While the Mallee Roots Blaze: The Story of Berriwillock.