Protection for Stirling Tree
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.