Remaining trunk a testament to Separation Tree
A final reduction of the Separation Tree’s canopy this week saw the completion of works performed by Melbourne Gardens’ arborists to make the tree safe following two fatal ringbarking attacks in 2010 and 2013.
Prof. Tim Entwisle, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Director and Chief Executive, said the remaining trunk and three main scaffold limbs are a testament to the once grand Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gum) tree.
“Despite the efforts of staff and expert consultants to save the tree, this week’s work was necessary for the safety of visitors. It was a sad but inevitable task.”
Estimated to be over 400 years old, the tree grew to a height of 24 metres with a canopy spread of 23 x 27 metres, and a circumference of 3.83 metres at its girth. The Separation Tree was named for the place where the citizens of Melbourne gathered on 15 November 1850 to celebrate the news that Victoria was to become a separate colony from New South Wales.
Seed was collected from the Separation Tree in 2010 following the first ringbarking attack. Saplings propagated from this seed have now been planted in the Melbourne Gardens and distributed throughout the State in partnership with the Victoria Day Council, with one recently planted in the Parliament House gardens.
Prof. Entwisle said the timber has been salvaged and will be used in a way that honours the significance of the tree.