Tree of Knowledge by Virginia McGowan

Camera Olympus c750 ouz

This tree was still strugging to live when I took this pic, It was declared inoperable a few months later.
It has now been removed.

The historic, heritage-listed Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine, next to the railway stration[ in background] known as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), is likely to die as a result of poisoning.

The Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine after the poisoning.

This tree is a ghost gum (Eucalyptus papuana) that stands tall in the main street of Barcaldine and is around 200 years old. It became famous because in the nineteenth century striking shearers gathered under its branches for meetings which lead to the formation of the ALP.

The Barcaldine Shire Council Mayor, Rob Chandler, says the tree is now dying because about 30 litres of poison was poured on its roots. “We’re just drowning the tree at the moment to hopefully wash away as much as we can.”

A tree doctor from the Department of Primary Industries has taken leaf and soil samples for further testing, but it may be too late to save the ghost gum. The tree has absorbed a large amount of chemical but it could take up to six weeks before its future is known. John Chapman, a spokesman, says forty per cent of leaves have already been lost and it’s likely the icon won’t survive.

Artist/Painter for over 30 years,Photographer for almost 60.

Life has been and is all about art… . Most Paintings are for sale in original form ,paper, canvas, board, stretched or …I can frame for you and ship anywhere anytime .
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  • Estelle O'Brien
    Estelle O'Brienabout 7 years ago

    Great write up Gini…good picture too.

  • thanks Estelle,I didn’t write it all, it’s from an ABC google site.

    – Virginia McGowan

  • Wendy  Slee
    Wendy Sleeabout 7 years ago

    How ironic…..that here in australia they poisoned the tree of knowledge!!!!
    Great shot and story….

  • thanks Wendy, I got some of the writing from an ABC Google story,too much to remember for me.[I started a painting of it but have got stuck half way.[in a journal somewhere]

    – Virginia McGowan

  • Shylie Edwards
    Shylie Edwardsabout 7 years ago

    Thanks Ginny for your information…have printed your photo and is now on my pinboard!!

  • thanks Shylie, so my bloke in the hat finally gets to be a pinup! . He took one of me, but as usual ……Oh well we can’t all use a camera, but he is the better truck driver.

    – Virginia McGowan

  • wolfman
    wolfmanabout 7 years ago

    great shot story to. we should not be loosing these great trees…..

  • thanks WM for your interest

    – Virginia McGowan

  • pollyh
    pollyhabout 7 years ago

    So sad to lose such a beautiful tree, great legend!! Beautifully captured!

  • I think the latest is some talk of an ‘expensive’ memorial.
    II saw the tree in it’s full glory in 1968 no fences then, no vandals………..

    – Virginia McGowan

  • rockinsue
    rockinsueabout 7 years ago


  • thanks for commenting susan [I put it up for trees comp.]

    – Virginia McGowan

  • BlaizerB
    BlaizerBabout 7 years ago

    really interesting write up and photo. cheers

  • thanks so much for you comment.I love the colours in your pics I’ll do some proper looking later!

    – Virginia McGowan

  • Jeff  Burns
    Jeff Burnsabout 7 years ago

    fabulous shot

  • thanks Jeff we were so lucky to get out there before it was taken hot that day too around 45 c

    – Virginia McGowan

  • JulieMahony
    JulieMahonyabout 7 years ago
    I stood under that tree a few years ago now but was so saddened when I heard what some irresponsible low-life had done to it. These trees are believed to live up to around 500 years and are so beautiful and stately. Good write-up Ginny and a lovely photo of what is now a ghost of a gum.
  • thanks for your comment Julie I have heard there is nothing there at all now excetep the writeup.No sure what they are going to do about the tree they cloned.

    – Virginia McGowan

  • robotsdream
    robotsdreamabout 7 years ago

    thanks for that story ginnymac. It’s very, very sad that someone could commit such a heinous act to a beautiful old tree.

  • thanks so much for commenting RD they say they have a fair idea who it was I think there is a reward to convict the person of $10.000 too.

    – Virginia McGowan

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