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I received an e-mail a couple of days ago from a resident nominating a tree for the Significant Tree Register suggestion list page on this site. We actually don’t have Significant Tree Register, nor do Marrickville Council seem keen to establish one.

Many Councils in Sydney have had one for years. Ryde, Sydney, North Sydney, Randwick, Waverly, Mosman, Hunters Hill, Canada Bay, Campbelltown, Drummoyne, Camden, Wollongong, Strathfield, Homebush, Blacktown & Bankstown all have a Significant Tree Register. This is an incomplete list because I don’t know the names of all the Councils in Sydney.

Randwick Council assesses trees using the following criteria. The tree does not have to fit all 8 criteria, 1 is enough.

  1. The tree’s historic &/or natural value
  2. The tree’s social, cultural & commemorative value
  3. Its visual & aesthetic value
  4. Whether the tree is particularly old or vulnerable
  5. Whether it is a rare species of tree
  6. If it has horticultural or genetic value
  7. Whether it has natural significance

Now on to the e-mail.  It is interesting reading & well worth sharing.

I’d like to nominate the Cooks Island Pine in Holt Crescent across from Ricardsons Lookout in the Warren for the significant tree register because of its visual & aesthetic qualities that adds dramatically to the landscape character of the Cooks River corridor & surrounding residential area specifically in the south Marrickville area.

This Cooks Island Pine in Marrickville South is visible for miles.

This mature tree creates a tall vertical architectural statement: it stands centrally on a prominent knoll along the Cooks River & can be seen from Illawarra Rd Bridge at Marrickville &, further east, from Unwins Bridge at Tempe.

The tree’s erect narrow habit & mature height, together with the surrounding mature vegetation of the knoll & river corridor, creates a distinctive, aesthetic feature that gives a sense of place for locals & visitors to our riverside environment. The visual catchment of this tree reaches the surrounds of the Warren (Sth Marrickville), Undercliffe, Earlwood & Tempe & possibly further. This prominent feature can also be easily spotted from the air when flying into Sydney.

Taken from a website – Araucaria columnaris – Cook Pine. Native to New Caledonia. Very similar too & often confused with Norfolk Island Pine when young. The habit is narrower & less feathery. Far more suitable in its early years for a town seaside garden. Nearly always leans slightly one way. The habit is narrower because the older branches are lost & new epicormic ones develop on the stem & replace them (this occurs in later life).  In its native habitat Araucaria columnaris shows maximum growth & abundance at the edge of the sea, forming dense populations on cliffs exposed to the prevailing winds. Can reach 60 metres in natural habit. 4.5 metres high x 2.5 wide in 10 years growing in our nursery/garden. Zone 9

I fully agree. This tree is special & should be on the Significant Tree Register if one is ever established.  Interesting that it is a place-maker even from a plane.

For the aficionados this tree has a number of names – Cook Island Pine, Cooks Island Pine & New Caledonian Pine & Pin Collannaire.

There are lots of really special trees in Marrickville LGA. Please help me learn of their existence by sending your suggestions.  You don’t need to do anything more than send an e-mail with the address of the tree.   See for more details –




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