News & Events

Tree health under scrutiny

June 9, 2019

Rushall Park’s heritage garden has undergone a tree audit by arborists to determine what trees need special attention and what trees are in tiptop condition.  Rushall Park’s head gardener Marika Pedrioli said the audit has given OCAV a great map for planning our next five years because it tells what work is a high or low priority.

The aborists have given a report on each of the trees with recommendations for future care, management and pruning. The report also reveals the maturity of each tree; what pruning has already happened; if the tree has suffered heat stress and what pests or infestations the tree has managed.

Forty trees came under close scrutiny, including some of Rushall Park’s oldest and most beloved trees, the 110 year old Magnolia Grandiflora and the two Firewheel (Stenocarpus sinuatus) trees, a Queensland tree variety rarely seen this far south.

One of the most carefully inspected trees was the huge 100-year-old Peppercorn tree at the Rushall Station corner of the village, with a hollow which is also home to a bee hive. Marika said many garden experts, who have visited Rushall Park, regard this peppercorn tree as one of the most beautiful specimens they have seen.

“We have some trees that we do need to pay attention too in terms of disease and pruning and they will now be a priority. Fortunately most of our most treasured trees are doing well,” Marika said.
The audit has shown that for example the Prunus persicatree has some decay in its southwestern stem resulting from previous lopping, but is in fair health.  So that tree is now a part of the maintenance program.

This is the first tree audit for Rushall Park and comes as gardeners are gearing up for the October garden party to celebrate OCAV’s 150th year.

“We currently have a lot of trees that are at least 80 years old. We can preserve a tree for a very long time if we give it appropriate care and that’s what this report gives us,” she said.

As well as the tree audit, Marika and her team are currently working to identify as many of the villages 1,154 roses as possible, so that visitors during the 150th celebrations know about some of the magnificent roses they will see in bloom.

Marika and a team of residents is putting together a walking garden tour booklet for the October garden party that will showcase many of the village’s significant trees, rare shrubs and roses.
“A lot of the residents know about roses and are able to help with identifying them. A lot of the roses are significant because they have been donated by residents in memory of someone, or to mark a significant event,” Marika said.

The garden walk booklet will accompany the walk of historical cottages and take guests past dozens of flowering tulips, hundreds of roses, the Sacred Flower of the Incas and Flowering Pansy shrubs and of course, the village’s old and lovely trees.

Residents and gardeners have also joined forces to propagate dozens of species of plants to give away during the 150th celebrations. The 15 women in the garden group began propagating last year and have already done 100 pots featuring plants such as lavenders, succulents, daisies and wax flowers.

Caption: Gardener Rhys Corr under the peppercorn tree.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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