Trees in the Park
The earliest pictures show the area of the Creek Reserve completely devoid of vegetation. Tree planting began as early as 1872. Throughout the park's history there has been a continual process of tree planting and removal, as trees died, were thinned or were in the wrong place for the changing garden layout. We only have fragmentary details.
Eucalypts, between Ligar St and the bowling club and elsewhere in the gardens, were removed in 1887 and 1888 to facilitate the growth of pines and willows. A Cordyline australis features in many early photographs, close to the fountain, but no longer in existence. Two large Pinus insignis were removed in 1904 to make way for a flower bed. Several pines were removed in 1905 from the boundary of the bowling club and Ligar St. Twenty-four sugar gums, 12 oaks, pines, cupressus and cork elms were planted in Victoria Park and Queen's Park in 1913. Large eucalypts were removed in 1914; one of these fell in the wrong direction, resulting in near misses of those watching the event. A Cupressus knightii was planted to the right of the band platform and a Fosters palm lily on the left in 1917.
There are no specific records of the planting of the pinetum at the southern end of the park: the trees are considerably smaller than those at the northern end. Council minutes note the removal of several old trees in that part of the park in 1913, and the planting of trees there in 1916. There was also a resolution passed that a triangular part of the southern area be fenced off, so that trees could be planted in memory of fallen soldiers.
Several significant trees remain, of which three are listed by the National Trust: a Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica f. glauca); a Fastigiated Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica "fastigiata"); and a Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo). A very tall Washingtonia robusta palm is stranded between the playground and car park, while a Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) near the fountain was planted by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe in June 1967. In 2006, there were nineteen species of tree in the northern part of the garden. There is also a box hedge, perhaps the overgrown remnant of a short hedge around one of the flower beds.
Poplars in constant need of attention; dangerous. Indeed, the very day after the new pergola was erected in 2007, a branch from a large poplar smashed into it, causing considerable damage.
List of trees in the northern end of the park.
From the Queens Park, Ligar Street Clunes Landscape Master Plan, by Wendy Jacobs
Abies pinsapo - Spanish Fir
Cedrus atlantica “Fastigiata” - Fastigiated Atlas Cedar
Cedrus atlantica f. glauca - Blue Atlas Cedar
Cedrus deodara - Himalayan Cedar
Chaemycyparis lawsoniana - Lawson's Cypress
Cupressus lusitanica - Mexican cypress
Cupressus sp. - Cypress
Cupressus torulosa - Himalayan Cypress
Eucalyptus ficifolia - West Australian Flowering Gum
Garrya elliptica - Silk Tassel Bush
Ilex altaclarensis - Altoclera Holly
Picea sitchensis - Sitka Spruce
Pinus halepensis - Aleppo Pine
Pinus radiata - Monterey Pine
Pittosporum eugenioides - Tarata
Populus alba - White Poplar
Ulmus x. hollandica - Dutch Elm
Viburnum tinus - Laurestinus
Washingtonia robusta - Fan Palm