‘Old Man Barker’ wins tree of the year

Located near the southern exit of the SE Freeway at Mount Barker, SA, this fantastic River Red Gum has a trunk circumference of 7.3m and is a fantastic example of a Eucalyptus camaldulensis and won the 20 Metre Trees poll by a sizeable margin.

Old Man Barker is estimated to be up to 300 years old and stands as a silent sentinel keeping watch over the ever-growing population of Mt Barker and neighbouring districts. It has many hollows supporting all sorts of native wildlife (possums, birds, bats, insects and reptiles).

Fallen branches have been left at the base of the tree to provide further habitat. Through its life it has witnessed massive change, from pre-European settlement to the massive population boom of the area. As the tree shows signs of scarring, the bark may also have been used for shields or food vessels. Its ecological value was and is undeniable. Somehow, unlike many of its contemporaries, it survived the construction of the South Eastern Freeway in the 1970s and now exists in a small pocket of reserve adjacent to the Mt Barker bridge.

Old Man Barker is under threat of being felled to make way for road expansion and is a character tree, iconic to the area and one of the last big River Red Gums in the immediate vicinity.

Send this to a friend