Dunkeld’s 419-year-old tree

Meet the Immortal Red Gum – a heritage listed tree on the Royal Mail Hotel’s nearby Mount Sturgeon property. Estimated to be 419 years old, this River Red Gum has stood, or fallen, the test of time.

At one point in its long history, this tree has fallen over and continued to grow. It has now re-rooted at several contact points and the branches have grown to form a canopy ten or more meters high.

Located on Djab Wurrang land, the tree has withstood the arrival of European settlement, including the first pastoralists who took up land in the 1830’s.

Additionally, it avoided the 1944 fires that destroyed much of the Dunkeld township. It was recordedMount Sturgeon as one of the most major bushfire seasons to occur in Victoria, caused by severe drought conditions.

The botanical name of the tree is Eucalyptus camaldulensis and it is endemic to Australia. It has a smooth white trunk, with curved leaves and flower buds producing white flowers in summer and hemispherical fruit. This species can grow up to 45 meters tall, providing optimal shade for wildlife in summer.

The Immortal Red Gum is recognised at state level by the National Trusts of Australia as a “significant tree”. The organisation is community based and committed to promoting and conserving Australia’s indigenous, natural and historic heritage.

There have been more than 2,500 significant trees recorded in more than 30 years by the National Trust of Australia. Experts in arboriculture, botany, heritage conservation and environmental management make up the team of people who determine whether a tree is classified as significant.

Guests of the hotel are invited to enjoy the short, easy walk to and around the tree known as the Woodlands Wander. Interpretative signage along the track explains the revegetation program and provides information on local macropods and birdlife you are likely to see. The walk also showcases epic views of Mount Sturgeon and the western plains.

It’s a great way to experience the Australian bush on your visit to the Royal Mail Hotel. Ask reception for directions to the Immortal Red Gum. Book your stay now.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Royal Mail Hotel acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the land we are on, the Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar Peoples and their elders past, present and future. Continue reading.