One of Victoria’s largest trees, a majestic River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) located near Guildford on the Midland Highway, has been awarded the prestigious title of 2023 Victorian Tree of the Year by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).
Known affectionately as The Big Tree, the tree is estimated to be more than 530 years old and stands at an impressive 32 meters.
Simon Ambrose, CEO of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), said the River Red Gum was a clear winner with more than 40 per cent of all votes cast.
“Our winner is a well-respected landmark within the Guildford community, and voters have shown the significant contribution the River Red Gum has made to the local landscape with outstanding size andcurious fusion of branches.
“This year the competition featured nine remarkable trees from the National Trust Significant Tree Register that were shortlisted for the coveted award, with three of the finalists hailing from metro Melbourne and six from regional Victoria,” Mr Ambrose said.
The contest aims to raise awareness of the conservation of the state’s natural heritage and highlight the many benefits trees provide to our culture and way of life, and seeing thousands of people get involved has been very exciting for us.
The runner-up in this year’s competition was the Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) in Altona.
“These trees provide their local communities with serenity and respite and represent the diverse and incredible beauty of Victoria’s natural environment,” said Mr Ambrose.
“We encourage Victorians to nominate their favourite tree each year. Keep an eye out for the 2024 competition, and details on how to get involved can be found on our website,” concluded Mr Ambrose.
The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is the state’s leading advocate for the protection of trees. Since 1982, the Trust has classified over 1,400 trees across Victoria on the National Trust Significant Tree Register.