Peaceful species: One of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens’ Bunya pines. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Twilight tales of the Gardens’ trees

January 18, 2021 BY

A FREE Friday evening tour of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens will be delivered by the park’s volunteer guides this summer, with a picnic to follow.

The Aussie Tree Tales twilight event on Friday, 22 January will begin at 5pm under the canopy of the turkey oak tree, at the beginning of the Prime Ministers Avenue, and run for about one hour.

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens will share information about significant indigenous species growing on site, and attendees can bring their own picnic dinner to sit down and enjoy afterwards.

FBBG guides convenor, Terry O’Brien said the trees originally planted there were often “exotic” choices, but there are still some Australian native treasures to discover and pique a person’s curiosity while they take a wander along the Gardens’ red paths.

“The trees selected were unusual and exceptional, or an attempt to see how they acclimatized here,” he said.

“Hence, many of the trees in our Botanical Gardens are from other lands, and few native species are found. But there are some native species, and many are exceptional and of great interest.”

One of the seven significant species to be explored is the Wollemi Pine; known as “a dinosaur tree or the fossil tree.” Two of these were planted within the last two decades at the Gardens.

Other trees to be discussed include the lilly pilly, corymbia eucalypt, blue gum and the Bunya Pine; a “peace tree” for some Aboriginal peoples.

Visit data.ballarat.vic.gov.au/pages/exceptional_tree_register to explore the city’s most exceptional trees, including some of these at the Gardens.