Pro­tec­tion for Stir­ling Tree

Mansfield Courier - - Front Page -

THE fa­mous gum tree that sits alone on top of Mt Stir­ling will be fur­ther pro­tected from vis­i­tors, af­ter new bol­lards and ad­di­tional sig­nage was in­stalled.

The Mt Stir­ling Sum­mit Tree is an icon of the re­gion, a soli­tary an­cient Snow Gum – the only tree on the 23 hectare Sum­mit and es­ti­mated to be around 320 years old.

But ear­lier this year it was re­ported that some­one had heav­ily pruned branches from the tree, which sparked a de­bate about ac­cess to the moun­tain top and if it should be al­lowed to con­tinue.

“Many changes have been made to the sum­mit area to in­crease pro­tec­tion of its nat­u­ral val­ues and re­verse the pro­cesses of degra­da­tion,” the Friends of Mt Stir­ling group said in a state­ment.

“Em­bank­ments have been cre­ated and fenc­ing added to keep ve­hi­cles on the road­ways, and off the grass.”

In the past, 4WD driv­ers, mo­tor­bike rid­ers and other groups have all left the des­ig­nated road to ex­plore, dam­ag­ing the frag­ile en­vi­ron­ment.

“Alpine grass is not like sub­ur­ban grass,” Friends of Mt Stir­ling said.

“There is snow grass only be­cause it is one of the few plants that can sur­vive the freez­ing con­di­tions that oc­cur al­most ev­ery night of the year.

“But snow grass can­not en­dure be­ing driven on, in ad­di­tion to freez­ing cold.

“Many peo­ple drive over the moun­tain dur­ing sum­mer months, and some­times there is poor be­hav­iour from driv­ers, who take their ve­hi­cles off track.”

The Mt Stir­ling Sum­mit Tree is in­cluded in the Reg­is­ter of Sig­nif­i­cant Trees at re­gional level with the Na­tional Trust of Aus­tralia and in 2016, the tree came 2nd in the Vic­to­rian Tree of the Year com­pe­ti­tion.

Next sum­mer there are also plans to im­prove the walk­ing and horse tracks.

PRO­TECTED: The fa­mous Stir­ling Snow Gum will be fur­ther pro­tected af­ter fenc­ing was in­stalled to keep rogue 4WD driv­ers and other bush users off the grassed ar­eas.

LEGACY: Le­ga­tee Julie War­ren, Mans­field (right) pre­sented Legacy Melbourne’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jo Moloney (left) with a copy of the 2020 Legacy cal­en­dar from Alexan­dra, Yea and Mans­field Legacy Group. The CEO was vis­it­ing Alexan­dra to meet the lo­cal mem­bers and dis­cuss the fu­ture ac­tiv­i­ties of the group.

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