A History of Arboriculture - Geelong & the bellarine

A History of Arboriculture – Geelong & the Bellarine

A History of Arboriculture – Geelong & the Bellarine Peninsula

How Did Arboriculture Begin in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula?

Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, located in the Australian state of Victoria, have a rich arboricultural history dating back to the Indigenous Wadawurrung people who inhabited the region. They had a deep understanding of the native flora, using various trees for food, shelter, medicine, and tools. European settlement in the early 19th century brought new tree species to the region, and with time, this area developed its unique tree landscape.

What Role Did the Wadawurrung People Play in the Region’s Arboriculture?

The Wadawurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land, relied heavily on the native flora for their livelihood. They used trees like eucalyptus, banksia, and acacia for various purposes, including crafting tools and weapons, constructing shelters, and sourcing food and medicine. Their intimate knowledge of the local trees and vegetation helped shape the region’s arboriculture.

How Has European Settlement Impacted the Tree Landscape?

The arrival of European settlers significantly influenced the region’s tree landscape. Settlers introduced various exotic tree species that could provide shade, timber, and food. Over time, the blend of native and exotic trees shaped the unique arboricultural landscape of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.

Who Are Some Iconic Arborists and Horticulturists from the Region?

Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula have been home to several influential arborists and horticulturists. One notable figure is Daniel Bunce, who served as curator of the Geelong Botanic Gardens for over 20 years. Bunce was a prolific plant collector and played a significant role in shaping the Gardens’ plant collection. Another important figure is John Raddenberry, a nurseryman who helped establish many of the region’s parks and gardens.

What Are Some Prominent Gardens and Parks in the region

The region boasts several beautiful parks and gardens that showcase its diverse tree landscape. The Geelong Botanic Gardens, established in 1851, is home to an impressive collection of native and exotic trees. Other noteworthy parks and gardens include Eastern Park, Johnstone Park, and the heritage-listed Werribee Park, which features formal gardens, expansive lawns, and a diverse range of tree species.

How Has Geelong’s Urban Design Evolved to Incorporate Trees?

Throughout its history, Geelong’s urban design has evolved to incorporate trees and green spaces in its city planning. The city’s layout includes tree-lined streets, public parks, and green spaces, providing shade, improving air quality, and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. The integration of trees in Geelong’s urban design has created a pleasant and livable environment for its residents.

What Are Some Unique Trees Found in Geelong and the Bellarine?

Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula are home to a variety of unique and fascinating trees, both native and exotic. Some iconic trees in the region include the River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Coast Banksia (Banksia integrifolia), and Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon). These trees hold significant cultural, historical, or ecological value and contribute to the region’s rich arboricultural heritage.

Modern Urban Forestry Policy of the City Council

The City of Greater Geelong has implemented a comprehensive Urban Forestry Policy to guide the management and development of the city’s tree landscape. This policy focuses on increasing tree canopy cover, enhancing biodiversity, and promoting the sustainable management of public trees. The policy also emphasizes community engagement and education, ensuring that residents are involved in tree planting and maintenance initiatives.

Commonly Found Trees in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula
Common NameBotanical NameNative/Exotic
River Red GumEucalyptus camaldulensisNative
Coast BanksiaBanksia integrifoliaNative
BlackwoodAcacia melanoxylonNative
Manna GumEucalyptus viminalisNative
Swamp GumEucalyptus ovataNative
Drooping SheoakAllocasuarina verticillataNative
Golden WattleAcacia pycnanthaNative
Spotted GumCorymbia maculataNative
English OakQuercus roburExotic
London PlanePlatanus × acerifoliaExotic
Canary Island Date PalmPhoenix canariensisExotic
Monterey PinePinus radiataExotic
European AshFraxinus excelsiorExotic
Silver BirchBetula pendulaExotic
Southern MagnoliaMagnolia grandifloraExotic
Blue GumEucalyptus globulusNative
Pin OakQuercus palustrisExotic
Japanese MapleAcer palmatumExotic
Lombardy PoplarPopulus nigra ‘Italica’Exotic
Moreton Bay FigFicus macrophyllaNative
Interesting Tree-Related Facts for the Region:
  1. Geelong Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest botanic gardens in Australia, established in 1851.
  2. The heritage-listed Werribee Park features a diverse range of tree species, including the rare Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis).
  3. The River Red Gum, commonly found in the region, can live for over 500 years and grow up to 45 meters tall.
Links for Further Reading:
  1. Geelong Botanic Gardens: https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/gbg/default.aspx
  2. Werribee Park: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/werribee-park
  3. City of Greater Geelong Urban Forestry Policy: https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/ufs/article/item/8d7ebd4e3ca9b4c.aspx
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