Hunt on for heritage trees

11 FEBRUARY 2014

If you have an old tree on your property that might bear the marks of surveyors from the past, or you know of one, researcher Dr Peter Spooner from Charles Sturt University's (CSU) Institute for Land, Water and Society wants to hear from you. Dr Spooner is creating an inventory of survey heritage trees around Culcairn and Holbrook in southern NSW. Eucalyptus, pine or casuarina trees were marked by the first surveyors and explorers in many parts of rural Australia. "These trees often marked the boundaries of the first land parcels surveyed in the late 1800s," Dr Spooner said. "Many trees would be over 200 years old and be important for cultural heritage and biodiversity, as large old eucalypt trees normally have hollows which provide important habitat for many native animals." Early surveyors cut a 'blaze' in the tree with an axe, producing a unique mark such a government arrow symbol and the adjacent lot number. However, many markings would have decayed or grown over, making them difficult to recognise. "Identifying the location and attributes of heritage trees can provide important insights to our past, record the development of Australian rural landscapes, and inform future conservation management activities," Dr Spooner said.

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Albury-Wodonga Charles Sturt University Research Environmental Sciences ILWS