Tree of Knowledge

Virginia McGowan

Joined August 2007

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Artist's Description

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.

Artwork Comments

  • Estelle O'Brien
  • Virginia McGowan
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