The Veteran Tree Group of Australia (VTGA) is a group of passionate people committed to ensuring the long term future of all significant trees in Australia through raising public awareness of their importance providing public access to and encouraging the application of world's best conservation practice and increasing people's enjoyment of older trees.
Here's a name that many overseas readers will know only too well 'Jacobs Creek' is a fairly famous wine producer from the Barossa in South Australia...but how many knew that their real prize is a magnificent collection of absolutely gorgeous Veteran trees.
This area was settle in the 1840's by the Jacob family (amongst others) , William Jacob had been the assistant surveyor to Col. William Light, "Founder of Adelaide", and had surveyed the area around the creek which came to bear his name in the early 1830's.
To be honest I am not all that fussed on the wines and the history of the family is not all that illuminating with respects to the trees....however arguably they were deemed significant enough not to be cleared...whatever the reason we have an incredible group of beautiful veterans to wander around at the Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre.
On one of the main streets through the small South Australian town of Greenock in the Barossa are two wonderful Veteran Pepper Trees (Schinus molle).
The trees were planted by an early settler Wilhelm Adolph Bachmann in the 1890's, and despite clearly having been heavily lopped and having their roots trashed the trees persist and provide a beautiful street scape that makes this part of Greenock very special indeed.
Greenock is a fascinating and attractive Barossa gem, having numerous cellar doors along its local streets and its own brewery (Barossa Brewing Company) that makes the most fantastic dark porter ale (reminded me of Theakstons Ole Peculiar) and an American style pale ale, the ales are sold on tap at the local pub, you can experience a tasting at the brewery cellar door....but I digress...the trees!
It is worth reminding yourself that the Pepper tree is considered an environmental weed, yet rather like the Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) in Queensland, when it reaches this kind of age it has veteran characteristics folds, hollows and scars in its stems and limbs from years gone by that leave you in awe.