One of the Wombat Gardens magnificent Redwoods (Sequoiadendron gigantea) has died and was removed last week by Tysons Tree Service.
The gardens are a magnificent arboretum with a number of notable tree species, including the Redwoods. Many of the mature trees were planted at the same time in the 1860s. A number are now reaching their natural life span and have to be removed carefully when they die.
Pete Curly from Curly timbers, was with Tysons as the tree came down. He likes to spend some time sitting with the stump of the older trees when they have to be cut down as a mark of respect.
Timber from the tree will be transformed into guitars, sculptures and used for other purposes.
Mr Curly wrote on Instagram that he had counted 130 plus growth rings.
He went on to note, “they’re a climate adaptive, long lived tree that doesn’t go weedy . They can survive fire but don’t use fire to reproduce. In a changing climate this will be increasingly important for urban planting. And they have presence.”
The timber is odd . It’s lightweight with very low tensile strength. It’s gorgeous colour combined with its profoundly light weight make it suitable for guitar soundboards. The larger logs will be going to Cole Clark Guitars for just that.
The knottiest logs will be milled for the gardens and some will go to the fantastic sculptor Miriam Porter.
“Even the branches will be used… and there’s lots of them. It’s an honour to be involved in this trees life,” Mr Curly said.
This tree is credited as being a Baron Von Mueller planting. Whether he planted it personally or not it’s probably better than blackberries or some of his other legacies .
The Friends of Wombat Gardens are acquiring and planting rare conifers to replace senescent trees likely to die in the near future. The respected gardner, Paul Bangay, has offered to find the Friends a suitable Sequoiadendron to replace the the tree that has been lost.
A master plan for the gardens has been approved by Council. It includes recommendations for the trees in the garden.
The plan proposes that the arboretum be retained on the Northern slopes of the garden. In the South Eastern corner, where the Redgum was, it is planned to have garden views.
A series of sculptured mounds are intended to create viewing points and providing a place for community bonfires in the tradition of the 1860s.
But as with all plans, its implementation will require funding which has not yet been guaranteed.