Victoria may have lost its original 400 year-old Separation Tree through malicious vandalism, but the tree will live on with 26 separate plantings of its saplings around the state.
The original Separation Tree in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens marked the place where Victoria’s citizens gathered to hear the proclamation that Victoria had become a separate colony from New South Wales.
Although the tree was not in any way associated with contentious politics, it was first badly damaged by vandalism 2010. Careful bridge grafting looked like it might save this highly significant historic tree but another attack in July 2013 destroyed the grafts and any remaining cambium, leaving the tree too damaged and debilitated to save. The tree has been gradually reduced as it slowly died, and only the main trunk and a three main scaffold limbs now remain.
But from that tragic demise, new hope grows. 26 saplings of the magnificent Eucalyptus camaldulensis have been sent and now planted around Victoria, including throughout the botanic Gardens and also one in the gardens of Victoria’s Parliament House. The timber has also been salvaged and will be used in a way that honours this wonderful and much-missed tree.
More at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne