Sky is the limit for Logan’s glorious old trees

A photograph of a gnarly blue gum at Cedar Grove is estimated to be 247 years old.
This gnarly blue gum at Cedar Grove is estimated to be 247 years old.

Published: 25th June 2020

The City of Logan’s famous vintage eucalypt, the 378-year-old ‘Gandalf’, has some leafy rivals out to shade its renowned longevity.

The venerable senior citizen of the local eco-system has been joined by what looms as an impressive, well, family tree.

Another round of tree-age testing conducted by Logan City Council has identified eight amazing specimens aged in triple figures, including one that sprouted not that long after ‘Gandalf’ first put down roots.

A tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) located on a private property in Greenbank is estimated by arborists to be at least 320 years old. It has a diameter of 1.89 metres.

The portly ‘Gandalf’, growing near the Logan River at North Maclean, measures 2.38 metres across the middle. The gnarly tree was named by the property owner and the arborist who tested it because “it has a lot of character”.

Other ancient hardwoods identified by Council tree-ageing tests were found in the suburbs of Cedar Grove and Meadowbrook, and vary between an estimated 135 to 317 years old.

Amazingly, a 290-year-old blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) was found in Shailer Park, a suburb that is mostly comprised of suburban development.

Measuring approximately 43 metres high, it is also Logan’s tallest known tree and has been dubbed by arborists as the ‘Grey Ghost’.

While technically not ‘related’, the aged trees all come from an era long before Europeans arrived and survived a period of extensive logging and then urban growth across the region.

Testing of the trees involves an arborist drilling a thin probe into the trunk to measure the resistance of the hard and soft wood of each year of growth. The pin hole in the trunk is then sealed.

City Economic Development, Planning and Environment Committee Chairperson Councillor Jon Raven said old trees played an important role in eco-diversity across Logan.

“Because of their age, many of the trees are gnarled and have branches broken off by storms and lightning over the years,” Cr Raven said.

“These broken branches eventually form into hollows and provide ideal nesting locations and protection for a range of birds and wildlife.”

This is only the second time Council has undertaken a tree-age testing program. It is hoped to expand the program with the help of other landowners and map historic old trees across the city.

In the last financial year, Council planted more than 83,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses across the city.

It is estimated more than 94,000 will be planted across the City of Logan over the next 12 months.

The pecking order of known aged trees in the City of Logan is:

Location Common name (species) Trunk diameter Estimated age
North Maclean Blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) 2.38m 378 years
Greenbank Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) 1.89m 320 years
Cedar Grove Blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) 2.08m 317 years
Meadowbrook Brush box (Lophostemon confertus) 1.45m 290 years
Shailer Park Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) 1.89m 290 years
Cedar Grove Blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) 1.92m 279 years
Cedar Grove Blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) 1.79m 247 years
Cedar Grove Blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) 1.64m 239 years
Greenbank Spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora var. variegata) 1.05m 145 years
Greenbank Swamp box (Lophostemon suaveolens) 0.98m 135 years

 

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