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Snapshot - Lone Pine

Published on Tuesday, 25 August 2020 at 10:49:00 AM

Lone Pine by Neville Thompson

Many of us have heard the legend of the Battle of Lone Pine at Gallipoli in World War I and seedlings germinated from that historic tree have spread far and wide.

Geraldton has its very own Lone Pine, not a descendant of the Gallipoli tree, but a gnarled and wind battered veteran originally planted by the Geraldton Municipal Council gardener Mr A. Larner about 1924.

It was one of a number of Pinus Banksiana or jack pines planted as street trees in the section of Sanford Street between Cathedral Avenue and Durlacher Street.

Householders in that section of the street must have been impressed with the council’s beautification effort because during hot summer months they regularly nourished the young trees with buckets of water from their home supply.

Horticulture in Geraldton can be difficult and over time a number of the jack pines failed to flourish until today, more than 90 years on, only one Lone Pine remains.

This is at the corner of Sanford and Durlacher Streets and it certainly shows the result of its long survival battle against Geraldton’s notorious southerly winds – similar to the famous leaning trees of Greenough, the surviving jack pine has no foliage facing south, but branches and leaves streaming northwards, making a shady canopy.

Back in 1985 a Victoria District Tree Society member Mr Clem Burns identified our Lone Pine as a Pinus Banksiana and noted he believed it to be the only one known to be outside of Perth.

At that time our Lone Pine was added to the council’s official register of significant trees and as the sole survivor of that 1924 street planting, our jack pine is certainly of historical as well as horticultural significance.

Image courtesy of Lorin Cox, caption by Neville Thompson.

Snapshots is an initiative of the Geraldton Regional Library. For more information, or to donate a historical photo or slide to the Library, contact Heritage Services at the Geraldton Regional Library on 9956 6659 or library@cgg.wa.gov.au

Lone Pine Tree

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