Saturday, June 11, 2011

My second remarkable tree

Remember my book of Australia's remarkable trees?  Today I visited the Algerian Oaks in the Botanic Gardens planted by Australia's first Governor-General, Adrian Louis Hope, and his family in 1895.

The largest one was planted by the G-G's then four-year-old son, Charles Melbourne Hope. It's a giant - 24 metres high and with a canopy 37 metres across. Algerian Oaks are semi-evergreen, which is why it still has plenty of foliage.

Adrian Louise Hope was the Earl of Hopetoun, and the steep grassy slope which the oaks stand watch over is called Hopetoun Lawn.

There's also a remarkable tree in the grounds of the Shrine of Remembrance, but I forgot to check what it was and where it grows before Luke and I set off for the gardens. I looked in the book when we got back and the tree is noteworthy indeed. It's a Turkish Pine grown from a cone off a single pine tree that grew on a plateau of the Gallipoli Pensinsula until it was destroyed during WWI (while it was a lone pine, the book doesn't say explicitly that it was the pine tree that gave Lone Pine its name. I'm assuming...).

An Australian soldier took the pine cone as a souvenir and carried it with him until the end of the war. He gave it to his aunt after he returned and she grew four seedlings from it, one of which was planted at the Shrine. Next time I'm over that way, I'll visit it.

I feel quite lucky to live a short walk from three of Australia's remarkable trees  - four if you count the Separation Tree, which has historical significance for Victoria, but it's not in the book. This river red gum, estimated to be 400 years old, also grows in the Botanic Gardens and was the site of celebrations to mark the separation of Victoria from New South Wales in 1850.

Luke and I wandered back through the gardens and saw this tree. Prickly! No need for possum guards on this one, eh?  Don't know what sort of tree it is; Luke dubbed it the F--k Off tree.

I also spotted a little patch of these fairy thingies lit up by the sun on Huntingfield Lawn. I spent five minutes lying on my stomach taking close up shots. I'm obsessed with taking photos of these things.


Andrew said...

Maybe the eff off tree is a very mature kapok tree?

Frisky Librarian said...

Yes, Andrew, I think you're right. After looking at some photos of the Kapok tree trunk, I'm fairly sure that's what it is. Thanks.

gallipoli2015 said...

Sad to say the remarkable Lone Pine tree at the Shrine of Remembrance has become diseased and must be removed.
Lone Pine at the Shrine Falls