End of an era for historic oak

Colac woodcrafter Rod Menzies, left, and Norm Griffiths show off turned cork oak. The Colac Woodcrafter’s Guild wants to transform parts of a significant cork oak tree that is scheduled for removal into items for the Colac Historical Society.

Woodcrafters hope to retain a piece of Colac district history when a mighty old oak tree falls to make way for the Princes Highway duplication.

Irrewarra’s cork oak will be no more after the Major Roads Project Authority exhausted all alternative options to save the tree, which stands in the way of the Princes Highway West duplication works near AKD’s Irrewarra sawmill.

The tree is on the National Trust Register as having regional significance for “aesthetic and scientific reasons”; but the trust is not a statutory body and has no legal powers to protect the tree.

The trust also lists the tree’s age at about 150 years, but the Colac Herald understands the tree was likely planted early last century, and stood on land belonging to the Parker family at Irrewarra.

Woodworker Rod Menzies said the tree was a descendent of the Tenterfield Cork Oak, a 150-year-old Quercus suber that is the biggest of its species in Australia.

“That tree was brought out by Mr Parker from England and we believe that this tree is one of the offspring of that tree,” he said.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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