The Trees of Caulfield Park
There is an great diversity of trees in the park. At the eastern end are mainly Australian natives whilst the heritage area at the western end is the second richest collection of tree species, both Australian and imported, in Melbourne after the botanical gardens.
The size of the trees is evidence that many are over 100 years old.
The 1999 Master Plan cites the following exotics trees in this respect:
Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis)
Jelly Palms (Butia capitata)
Fan Palms (Washingtonia robusta)
Noted indigenous trees of the same era area large number of Australian Rainforest species:
The Bunya Pine (Auraucaria bidwillii)
Queensland Kauri (Agathis robusta)
Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii)
Weeping Lilly Pilly (Waterhousea floribunda)
Magenta Lilly Pilly (Syzygium paniculatum)
There were also extensive plantings of trees in the 1920s and 30s. The Master Plan states "Plantings of this period include a number of very rare trees and shrubs including Australian Rainforest species recorded on the National Trust of Australia Significant Tree Register. These are Brown Myrtle (Choricarpia leptopetala), brown laurel (Cryptocarya triplinervis), turpentine tree (Syncarpia glomulifera), as well as the South african Cabbage tree (Cussonia spicata) and a classified holly-leafed cherry (Prunus ilicifolia).
Other intersting species include the NewZealand Lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolium), white silky oak (Grevillia hilleana), and Cape bush willow (Combretum caffram).
In additiono to these ornamentakl species are a number of large trees planted around the boundaries of the playing fields as wind breaks. Most notable amongst these plantings are the Monterrey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and southern mahogony (Eucalyptus botryoides)"
Note; Most of the cypresses memtioned above were cut down as unsafe at the end of 2008. Replacement planting is expected in autumn 2009.
The Master Plan identifies the remnant 19C. plantings in the park as being "of primary significance as early and mature tree plantings from the early history of the site. The trees provide structure to the site , dominating the western section of the park and imparting a leafy character. The trees contribute to the general amenity of the surounding precinct. Many of the trees, such as the Bunya Pine and Queensland Kauri are of interest as rarely used plantings and for their unusual form and foliage textures."
Sadly in recent years these trees have been depleted as drought and other matters lead to their demise. In spite of professions to replace them, there are virtually no new plantings in the heritage area. The visitor will however see that some mulching has been done in an effort to keep the root systems moist.
In 2009, piping was laid to the western end of the park in order to supply trees with water in dry periods
For more information about trees in the park visit:
The Heritage Trees
Notable Trees in Caulfield Park
List of Trees in Caulfield Park
The Friends' Position Paper on trees in the park
The Elm Avenue
The Plane Tree Avenue
Council Tree Management Policies
New tree plantings
Progressive Tree List