Subscribe to recieve notifications of our newsletters and brochures

Google Groups
Subscribe to Veteran Tree Group
Visit this group

Nominate your special tree


Monday, November 2, 2009

Photographic records help to age Veteran Trees

One of the biggest advantages we have in Australia when it comes to determining the age and role of many of our siginificant urban trees is that the history of white settlement is so recent, there are some amazing photographic records of the late 1800's and early 1900's that provide insights not only into the presence and size of some trees but help us to place those trees in a historical describe why these trees might have been important.

Local libraries certainly can have surprising collections of books, newspapers and journals all potentially touching indirectly on the topic of large significant vegetation.

A really great collection of photographs are to be found in the National Library of Australia:

I have found some incredible records that have helped gain rapid recognition of historical and cultural significance for trees, a process that might otherwise have been prolonged and protracted. Sometimes the results from a search can be just as surprising for me as anyone else, the pictures are little snap shots in time often revealing brief moments in the lives of the people within them....such pictures always leave me with the wish to know more about the subject matter.

This picture sows empty tree guards in 1934 along the shore at Burleigh after trees planted by the Justins brothers had been removed. They planted 100 Norfolk Pines ~ Araucaria heterophylla, on a Saturday and on the Sunday when they went to attend them 60 trees had been removed. It was first reported that vandals had removed them but in later years information that came to light seemed to indicate that the Shire Council had them removed.

The trees had been purchased from the State Nursery in Sydney and were landed in Byron Bay by steamer, the Norco Butter Co transported them to Burleigh Heads free of charge. The trees cost 1 shilling and threepence each (13 cents). Eventually the trees were replanted by the Justins family and are still standing today around what is known as Justins Park.The Heart of Paradise - The History of Burleigh Heads by Robert Longhurst p 68 Justins - Sherborne to Australia p62

Now having the date of the plantings enables a pretty accurate age to be given to the Norfolk Island pines at Burleigh, it is also a reminder of the importance of highly motivated individuals and government bodies, a great deal of the significant landscapes along the east coast (including the Gold Coast) are the result of determined planning.

These pines are deemed iconic and rightfully so, it is also clear from other photos that some of the trees were planted before 1934...the picture below taken in the 1930's clearly shows a line of well established pines along the edge of the main road against the beach.

Another view from the same era (1940's) looking back towards the bowls club from the beach:

No comments:

Post a Comment