Did you know the tallest living tree in the world is the California Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens); recorded height 110 metres, give or take a centimetre or two. Well, you may have known that. Just look it up in the Guinness Book of Records.
What you won’t be able to look up in any records or in computer-land, is the fact that Dubbo has one of these redwoods. It is recorded somewhere but the average Joe won’t have access.
It is in Victoria Park next to the Cenotaph. Not common knowledge. Ours was planted back in the 1990s. I know because I was part of the planting team. Before that it stood on a box-timber pallet foe two years while we worked out where to put it.
Today it is 10 metres tall and thriving; a fully activated specimen. It was Mr Christopher Vafiopolous who supervised his scullion team to plant it. He was the total management team all rolled into one, being garden director, manager, supervisor, designer, plan drawer, and exotic plant researcher and resource person. He bought the redwood.
The redwood seed measures 2mm long, elliptic in shape and one fifth the size of a sunflower seed. Very much in the category of the biblical mustard seed: “from little things big things grow,” and I’m not talking about financial investments. Sequoia is a native American name for a Cherokee Indian who set up the Cherokee alphabet. Its range is from Monterey, California to Oregon.
While Monterey is famous for its local Pine tree (Pinus radiata), it is even more illustrious as the region where author John Steinbeck lived and set most of his stories. It is said he ‘celebrated the proven capacity of man for greatness of heart and spirit – gallantry in defeat – courage, compassion and love.’ Such a write-up should get you charging out to read his stories. His enthusiasm was generated by the environment around him.
Or maybe you should make your way down to Victoria Park, Dubbo. Have a look at this single-trunked conical tree, with bright green, flattened foliage in spirally arranged sprays. It is for free. Inspiration never did have a price tag.