And the winner is…

The 281 elms that comprise the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour have collectively been named The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) 2020 Victorian Tree of the Year.



Nine significant trees from the National Trust Significant Tree Register have been shortlisted for the coveted title of the 2020 Victorian Tree of the Year.  This year marks the first year in which all nine shortlisted trees are based in Regional Victoria.

The Victorian Tree of the Year contest aims to raise awareness of the conservation of the state’s natural heritage, and the benefits trees provide to our culture and way of life. The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is the state’s leading advocate for the protection of trees, celebrating the benefits they provide to our communities. Since 1982 the Trust has classified over 20,000 trees in 1,200 places across the state on the National Trust Significant Tree Register.

As Victoria begins to recover from the devastating impact of the summer bushfires and learns to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s competition holds special significance in celebration of nature’s giants that adorn local communities today.



Eloise Dowd
Environmental Heritage Advocate



Download the 2020 National Trust Victorian Tree of the Year Media Kit

For any media enquiries email


Chestnut Leaved Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus Castaneifolia
Located: Mossvale Park, Leongatha
The largest example of several Chestnut Leaved Oak trees located within this former nursery site, established by Francis Moss in 1853. The species is native to the mountains of the Caucasus and Iran and resembles the closely-related Turkey Oak in appearance. This tree is of State significance as an outstanding example of the species, its outstanding size, and contribution to a historic park.


Canary Island Pine

Botanical Name: Pinus Canariensis
Located: Ballarat Synagogue, Ballarat
The tree was planted by Jacob Bernstein, an active member of Ballarat's Hebrew community, in 1867. It is now a fine specimen, dominating the front of the Ballarat Synagogue and Barkly Street intersection. Pinus canariensis is native to the Canary Islands and highly suited to South-east Australia. It is excellent as a street tree, forming an attractive upright canopy. This tree is of Regional significance for its contribution to landscape and historic associations.


Spotted Gums

Botanical Name: Corymbia Maculata
Located: Mottle Range Reserve, Buchan South
Located in the severely bushfire-impacted Buchan area, this rare and localised collection of approximately 400 Spotted Gum trees is the only natural occurrence of this species in Victoria. Many people are familiar with the Spotted Gum as a planted ornamental tree, but few have seen them as natural forest. Unfortunately, the entire grove was impacted by the 2020 East Gippsland bushfires. However, despite the intensity of the bushfires, the grove has shown some early and very encouraging signs of survival. There is evidence of shiny scarlet epicormic growth produced by underground lignotubers, as well as tiny seedlings. This stand of trees is of State significance for rarity and localised distribution.


Himalayan Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus lanata
Location: Bright Cemetary
This tree is one of nine known examples in Victoria (1993) and is the only record of the species in a cemetery in Victoria. This tree has a particularly attractive form with a dense domed crown. The Himalayan Oak is native to the Himalayas and grows to around 25 metres. The former species name ‘leucotrichophora’ means carrying white hairs.The tree is of State significance for rarity, contribution to landscape and social/historic context.


Mallacoota Gums

Botanical Name: Eucalyptus Globulus Subsp. X E. Cypellocarpa
Location: Mallacoota Sportsground and Camping Park, Mallacoota
The Mallacoota Gum is an extremely rare hybrid species. As of 2008 there were 39 trees identified, all occurring in the Mallacoota township area. These are the only known hybrids between two parent trees (Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), and are a most attractive looking tree. They are of State significance for rarity, localised distribution, and aesthetic value.


Irish Yew

Botanical Name: Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’
Location: Former Aradale Psychiatric Hospital, Heath Street, Ararat
This tree is located in the courtyard of the former Aradale Psychiatric Hospital, a site of State significance. A fine well-shaped specimen displaying its typical narrow, compact crown. The tree is an important feature in the landscape.The landscape design at Aradale is considered to have been influenced by Hugh Linaker, who was appointed landscape gardener to the Lunacy Department in 1912. The position required Linaker to give his expert advice at any of the Hospitals for the Insane under the Department's care, which included Ararat, Beechworth, Ballarat and Yarra Bend.This tree is of State significance for contribution to landscape, historic association, and as an outstanding example of the species.


Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour

Botanical Name: Ulmus x Hollandica
Location: Bacchus Marsh
The Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour was established in August 1918 as a living memorial to community members who had fought in World War I, and is listed in the Victorian Heritage Register. The Avenue consists of 281 Dutch and Huntington Elms and is a key landscape feature of the district, characterised by the curved road and an overarching canopy of mature elms, creating a cathedral-like effect. The Avenue is of State significance for historic associations, contribution to landscape, aesthetic and scientific reasons. The Avenue has faced numerous threats due to road development, including a current potential bypass proposed by Regional Roads Victoria.


Lemon-scented Gum

Botanical Name: Corymbia Citriodora
Location: Cnr South Gippsland Highway and Smith Street, Leongatha
This Lemon-scented gum an outstanding example of its species with a height of 23 metres and canopy spread of 24 metres. It has excellent scaffold branch structure and has not been subject to excessive pruning. It is an impressive landmark tree.


Digger Pine

Botanical Name: Pinus Sabiniana
Location: Hamilton Botanic Gardens, Hamilton
This spectacular tree is the oldest and tallest tree in Hamilton Botanic Gardens. It has been planted at the highest point in the gardens and dominates the skyline of the area. The Digger Pine is a native of California, growing 12-25m and producing edible seeds. The tree is of Regional significance for size, contribution to landscape, and association with a historic garden.


More on the National Trust Register of Significant Trees

Search the Register

There are over 2,500 significant tree records compiled over 30 years by the National Trusts across Australia. Search to find your favourite tree, or nominate a tree to the Register.


2019 Victorian Tree of the Year Winner

The River Red Gum is located on the corner of Bridge Street and Manningham Road in Bulleen. With a 300-year history, it measures 20 metres high with a canopy spread of 17 metres. The tree was originally saved by a local resident when the rest of the block was cleared to make way for the service station. The River Red Gum received an impressive 1,045 out of total 3,669 votes.

2018 Victorian Tree of the Year Winner

Th Lollipop tree (Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata) at the Parks Victoria Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve receiving a convincing 351 of the total 830 votes.

See More

2016 Victorian Tree of the Year Winner

This Mountain Ash (Eucalytus regnans), known as the ‘Kalatha Giant’, is at least 400 years old and currently one of the largest living trees in Victoria.

See More