I don't have any photos of ancient trees, but I was thrilled to find these big old trees in a park in Engadine. The photo doesn't show it, but these trees are massive, bigger than any tree I have seen in any park in Marrickville LGA.

This beautiful tree is very tall with a girth of many metres. In the background is an old Monteray pine.

If you are interested in ancient trees you will enjoy Ted Green, ‘the ancient tree man’ talking about the ancient trees in Windsor Great Park Barkshire, about 30kms from London’s CBD.  Ted is an Ancient Tree Guardian & also a founding member of the Ancient Tree Forum & educates across all mediums about the history & value of ancient trees.

The first video is of an ancient Oak tree that has a massive hollow trunk & has been carbon dated at over 1,000-years-old.  It has a huge limb that has been there since the tree was small.  Numerous branches are propped up with steel poles to support them & the tree has been fenced for public safety, as well as to keep people from tramping over the roots.

The tree has seen one mini-ice age & numerous droughts. Astounding to me is that the area where the tree is growing is regarded as desert because it only receives between 30cms-60cms of rain per year & this is England!  Ancient Tree Experience 2012 –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMAWnBn6SJc

Another lovely video is the ‘William the Conqueror Oak,’ also growing at Windsor Great Park & planted in 1066.  To me it is a joy to see trees that are hollow & gnarled that have been respected & not chopped down once they started showing signs of age. William the Conqueror Oak – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE_ojABCrYA&feature=channel

A wonderful story of an Australian ancient tree is of the 750-year-old Boab that in 2008 was transported 3,200kms & replanted in Kings Park Perth.  The ancient Boab weighing 36-tons was living in Warmun in the Kimberley region & was to be chopped down to widen a road. This Boab, sacred to the local Gija people, stood 14-metres high with a girth of 2.5-metres & had the potential to live up to 2,000-years.  Contractors were incredibly generous, forfeiting the $120,000 fee to transport the tree for 6-days by offering their services for free.  May they all have a beautiful life. This kind of generosity doesn’t happen often.   http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/kimberley-boab-tree-takes-root-in-kings-park-20080721-3ih0.html

There is more details of the story & a slide show of photos here – http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/about-us/news/1-whats-new/600-the-boab-journey

Here is a March 2012 interview about this Boab & how it is doing well – http://blogs.abc.net.au/wa/2012/03/perths-big-boab-is-doing-well.html

This tree was huge & very tall. We guessed a 7.5 metre girth, just a little bigger than the Eucalypt above.

I do wish Marrickville Council would plant at least one tree in one of our larger parks that has the ability to become really old tree.  We do have Australian trees that are capable of becoming ancient trees.  Most of our public trees become old by sheer luck. Then they are labeled as senescent & chopped down.   What would happen if Council deliberately planted a tree that had the potential to get really old & planted it in a position where it could be protected, could grow really big, could grow naturally & keep its side branches, could have long branches supported by poles in time if needed & was allowed to develop dead wood & holes?  I love to have an owl living in a park.

What a great thing to leave for future generations.  The possibilities to create a fun event that educates & brings the community together are endless.  Council could do events with schools & also the greater community like bury time-capsules somewhere safe in the park every 50-years. The older capsules could be opened on these occasions & reburied once the information has been looked at.  It could be massive community event with the local newspapers involved, competitions, stories & gatherings.  Imagine choosing a local family with very young children to be the face of the event with the hope the children are alive to again be involved 50-years later. I’d have fun organizing this.  There could be other celebrations in-between these major milestones to keep the community engaged & as part of ongoing education that is fun.

I strongly believe that if Council wants to educate the community about the value of trees, there needs to be a regular & big community event about trees to help get the message out there.  National Tree Day in its present format isn’t quite cutting it, no matter how hard Council tries.

The Eucalypt has a wonderful hole in this thick branch that is probably home for an animal or bird. It is rare to see such a thing in Marrickville LGA.