A recently discovered shining gum in the Result Creek catchment on the Errinundra Plateau could be East Gippsland’s biggest tree. This single tree will now receive protection, but dozens more that don’t make the news, won’t.
They were out looking for threatened species but they found a giant tree instead. Rena, Joe and Dave a group of local GECO volunteers, measured its circumference at 16.9 metres (taken one metre above the mid line between high and low point at ground level). It’s only 61 metres high so it’s big rather than tall.
Local media statements by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) claim it protects all significant large trees and that his one will have a small protection zone left around it. Unfortunately this was mere PR spin since large trees are still sent barrelling down the road on the backs of log trucks and stumps of immense girth are still found in logging coupes.
Environment East Gippsland invited Brett Mifsud, one of Australia’s “big tree hunters”, to come out in January. Brett has spent many years documenting large trees around the country and has a new method of measuring the girth, height and bulk of trees. Measurements 1.5 metres above the highest point of ground level gives it a circumference is 14.2 mts. But he said there is no set standard between agencies for measuring tree size. After documenting that tree, we walked into an area of Brown Mountain where we documented at least 11 large diameter trees measuring from 8 to 10.5 metres around the girth. These were not awesomely large but still big enough to be impressive. The group was given names like Bess, Monty, Olly, Maud and Uncle George – nothing too pretentious. This type of forest should be protected due to many large trees growing together. It would make a fantastic old growth walk down to the cool temperate rainforest. Sadly, this area is in a general logging zone and earmarked for clearfelling in the future. We will be lobbying to protect the site.