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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lone Pine, Australian War Memorial Canberra

Back in late 2008 a nasty storm tore off a large lower scaffold limb from the Lone Pine at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra our national capital.

The ensuing media reports alarmed a number of us greatly...all talk of lopping, drilling draining branch unions and installing rain covers over hollows etc...

So disturbing were these reports that an email was sent by me on behalf of the VTG to the Director of the AWM Steve Gower AO AO (Mil) (Retd). Until a fortnight ago I had not actually visited the AWM nor the Lone Pine tree.

Here are some pictures from that visit.

The approach to the main museum building

Northern profile of the Lone Pine (Pinus halepensis)

Western profile showing the injury and the remedial mulch circle covering the ground out to the tree's dripline.

Southern profile

The tree looks better tha any Pinus halepensis I have visited in Queensland, the soil remediation work through spreading aged woodchip is really pleasing to see. The Arboricultural and Horticultural staff shold be proud of their work following the storm damage, and I truely thank them for their efforts. Perhaps just moving the fence out to the edge of the mulch circle would be advisable to stop visitors (passionate Arbs and Vet tree hunters) trampling the root plate.

 I think some of the angles of the previous photos give the impression that the tree is entirely isolated...this is not the case (despite its name....Lone Pine!).

It is great that the Lone Pine does have a group of succession plantings adjacent to it....we should never forget just how important long term planning is and in this regard, how important succession planting will be to ensuring that generations into the future can enjoy the benefits of the significant trees we so admire today.

Framed by younger saplings

The Lone Pine to the east (left) of the sculptural memorial to bomber command

Whilst at the AWM I visted most of the outdoor memorials and was heartened to see how many young families and school groups were also visiting there.

The memorial to Simpson and his donkey and the obvious wear on the donkey's head for me reflects modern Australian perspectives on how we feel about our historical symbols...there is a real respect in our communities for the ultimate sacrifice made by service men and women, but it is not abstracted or removed from how we live our lives today.

Simpson and his donkey (flanked by oaks) the wear a very very popular memorial statue