Froggs leaning towards adoption of bent pine tree

Stan MaleyMidwest Times
Irene Ghannage, chairwoman of the Friends of Geraldton Gardens, stands under the leaning pine tree at the intersection of Durlacher and Sandford streets in Geraldton.
Camera IconIrene Ghannage, chairwoman of the Friends of Geraldton Gardens, stands under the leaning pine tree at the intersection of Durlacher and Sandford streets in Geraldton. Credit: Midwest Times, Stan Maley

Irene Ghannage, chairwoman of the Friends of Geraldton gardens (Froggs) was pointing out the Lone Pine on the corner of Durlacher and Sanford streets: Geraldton’s very own leaning tree.

Battered by the howling summer southerlies, this tree has stood the test of the elements and time for nearly 100 years and should have the same claim to fame that has collected around the leaning trees in Greenough. Perhaps in our busy lives we rush past this sentinel pine, neither caring for its place in history nor its welfare?

“The Froggs are interested in the idea of adopting this tree,” Irene said.

“We could show an interest in its future. Perhaps by wrapping our banner and logo around the trunk from time to time and checking with the City of Greater Geraldton about its life expectancy.”

The Friends of Geraldton Gardens have various roles around the city which include the care of Wonthella Bushland, sowing everlasting seeds into the vacant garden beds at Geraldton Hospital along Shenton Street and now the idea of adopting the lone pine.

These activities are already under way while they work towards creating a botanical garden of Mid West flora in Maitland Park.

The latter project will come on line when funding is sufficient to make a start.

The Geraldton Regional Library sent me an article from their website about the pine tree.

Written by Neville Thompson in 2013, it says, “Geraldton has its very own Lone Pine, not a descendant of the Gallipoli tree, but a gnarled and wind-battered veteran originally planted by the Geraldton municipal council gardener, Mr A. Larner in about 1924. It was one of a number of pinus banksiana or jack pines planted as street trees in the section of Sanford Street between Cathedral Avenue and Durlacher Street”.

A spokesperson from the City of Greater Geraldton said the City did not have any plans to remove the tree or carry out any work on it. They recently improved the breathing area around the base of the pine when some cabling was done adjacent to it.

In his article, Neville Thompson said the pine has horticultural as well as historical significance.

It stands in stark contrast to the upright Norfolk Island pines in Fitzgerald Street and other locations around the city.

I wonder what date these trees were planted? They looked pretty big to me back in 1952 when I went to high school here from Three Springs.

So until next week, keep an eye open for the first rains and we can look at a garden inside the St John of God Hospital.

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