Discovered in 2003 in an area planned for logging, the Darejo tree has now had its immediate area protected from logging, but its giant Shining Gum relatives were not so lucky – they didn’t meet the 12.5 girth minimum that gains them protection.
Darejo is a very impressive tree. It has a huge base with enormous fluted buttresses that have anchored it to its home on the steep hillside for the last 300 years or more. As the buttresses dissolve into the main trunk, its bark peels off in colours of greenish grey, cream and yellow. Even though there are a few broken branches in the canopy, its crown still has a good sail of healthy foliage, and the hollows formed are ideal homes for arboreal animals like owls and gliders.
Darejo is separated from other nearby giant Errinundra Shining gums by a delightful, almost pure understorey of soft tree ferns, indicating that this area has not seen a fire for hundreds of years. In short Darejo is one of the jewels of the Errinundra plateau and shows what nature can produce when it is left undisturbed from the ravages of wildfire and manmade disturbance.
Brett Mifsud, Australia’s leading big tree expert