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Significant Trees in Central Australia – where are yours?

— by Chris Watson

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

Greek Proverb

Ghost Gum Corymbia apparerinja. Prince Roy, Wikicommons.

The ancient Greeks probably had it both figuratively and literally right with this proverb. What could be better than thinking ahead about future generations and the possible enjoyment they might derive from having beautiful, big trees throughout the community?

Land for Wildlife would like to find out where all those trees are that the old men and women of Centralian history planted. Maybe they didn’t plant them, but protected and venerated them. Central Australia¬†has a wealth of significant trees and we’d like to hear about trees that are significant to you. What are their special meanings? What are their stories? What is it that makes them so special?

Shortly, all Land for Wildlife and Garden for Wildlife members will be sent a nomination form for a new register of significant trees that we are putting together. The hope is that this register can one day be integrated with a national database in partnership with the National Trust. The online and smartphone versions of the Victorian and NSW versions of the Trust Trees program are already impressive and useful tools for dendrophiles in those parts of the country. Have a look at the Victorian website here.

You can nominate almost any tree that fits the significance criteria. It doesn’t need to be on your land, but we need to have as much information about the tree as possible to make it a worthwhile addition to the register; historical, cultural, and scientific information about the tree in question is crucial to supporting your nomination for the significance of a particular tree or stand of trees. The tree doesn’t even need to be alive; dead trees still provide valuable wildlife habitat and many Centralian species are just as photogenic and magnificent in death as they were in life.

The criteria for nomination are all detailed on the nomination form and we would love to get as many as possible to get this register up and running before the end of the year.

Keep an eye out for your nomination form soon!