Pre-1852 original indigenous trees in Maldon
Posted on 23 May, 2017 by Asha
Bev Phillips has kindly provided this article about the amazing work Maldon Urban Landcare (aka MULGA) have been doing to protect the trees that have been around Maldon since before the gold rush. Anyone familiar with this landscape knows how precious our large old trees are, so thank you MULGA for helping look after them!
“The primary objectives of this project conducted by MULGA in 2017 were to obtain detailed records for original indigenous trees that were growing before 1852 (pre-European settlement) in Maldon, and to achieve long-term protection for these trees under the Mt. Alexander Shire Council Planning Scheme, or an appropriate alternative scheme. The large, old indigenous eucalypt trees still surviving in the township of Maldon are of significant environmental and historical significance, and are rare examples of pre-European settlement vegetation in an urban setting. The recorded trees are estimated to be aged between 175 and 645 years old.
Initial work for this project was carried out by the late Wendy French in 2009-2010. In early 2017 MULGA members, assisted by Frances Cincotta from Newstead Natives, conducted a detailed survey of trees with a circumference of at least 1815mm, measured at a height of 1.3m. Sites surveyed were the Maldon Primary School, Maldon Hospital, Bill Woodfull Reserve, the Maldon Police Lockup land and St. Brigid’s Catholic Church. In addition two trees on a private property and four roadside trees were surveyed.
Of the 61 pre-1852 original eucalypt trees recorded on public and private land in Maldon, 64% are Eucalyptus microcarpa (Grey Box); there are 8 Eucalyptus goniocalyx (Long-leaved Box), 8 Eucalyptus polyanthemos subsp. vestita (Red Box) and 3 Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box). 49 trees are estimated to be 200-399 years old and there are 3 trees estimated to be aged 400-499 years and one tree 530 years. This means that 80% of the trees are estimated to have started growing between the years of 1618 and 1817.
In addition, MULGA members surveyed 36 pre-1852 eucalypt trees on parts of the Maldon Historic Reserve – the lower slopes of Anzac Hill, Pond Drive, and part of The Butts at the base of Mt. Tarrengower. The species recorded are Grey Box (50%), Yellow Box (28%), Red Box (17%) and one tree each of Long-leaved Box and Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gum).
CLICK HERE for more information and links to two maps which show the location of all of the pre-1852 eucalypts recorded. There is also a brochure, Living Treasures, available in the Maldon Visitors Information Centre, which includes information and a map for some of the pre-1852 trees.”