Historical information

In 1983, the National Trust advised the Shire of Eltham that it was investigating a number of trees within the shire which had been nominated for recording the Register of Significant Trees of Victoria.
The trees involved were described in the Shire of Eltham Historical Society Newsletter No. 29, March 1983 as follows:-
1. Eucalyptus melliadora (Yellow box) .
a) An outstanding mature specimen 42 metres high in Laughing Waters Road, Eltham.
b) Another mature specimen in Arthurs Creek road, Hurstbridge is reported to be the tree under which the bushranger Robert Bourke was tied after he shot and killed Henry Hurst in 1866 .
2. Quercus robur (English Oak).
a) "Donaldson's Oak", Donaldsons Road, Kangaroo Ground was planted by John Donaldson from seed collected from Windsor Great Park in 1878.
b) "Wippells Oak". This now misshapen tree is located on the St. Andrews Road near the Kangaroo Ground Fire Station. Its origins may have been similar to Donaldson's Oak, and as a young tree it apparently slipped from higher up the hill during wet weather.
Both oaks are of local historical importance.
3. Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum).
A large mature specimen at the corner of the Kangaroo Ground-St. Andrews Road and Bakehouse Road, Panton Hill.
4. Plantanas acerifolia (Plane tree)
A number of trees forming the Avenue of Honour to Eltham's First World War soldiers along Main Road between Dalton and Pitt Streets, Eltham.
5. Pinus canariensis (Canary Island Pine), Pinus pinea, (Stone pine) and Cedras altlantica, (Cedar)
These trees are located at the Hurst family graves in the grounds of the Hurstbridge Pre-school Centre.

In 1991 the Shire of Eltham introduced controls into its planning scheme to protect sites of architectural, historic or conservation interest and significant trees. The controls were approved by the Minister for Planning and Housing. As advised in the Shire of Eltham Historical Society Newsletter No. 78, May 1991, a planning permit is required to demolish or alter any listed building or to destroy, lop or remove any listed tree. Provision is made for comments to be obtained from the National Trust or Historic Buildings Council in considering any applications.
The buildings and trees listed were:
250 Bolton Street Eltham (former Walter Withers home)
"Rosehill" - Bonds Road Lower Plenty
St Andrews Church of England - St Andrews
"Montsalvat" - Hillcrest Avenue Eltham
St Margarets Church and former vicarage - Pitt Street Eltham
Presbyterian Church - Kangaroo Ground
Parks and Environment Office (former police quarters) Main Road Eltham
Former Court House - Main Road Eltham
"Shillinglaw Cottage" - Main Road Eltham
"The Robins" - Kangaroo Ground Road Warrandyte
"Donaldsons Oak" - Donaldsons Road Kangaroo Ground
Yellow Box - Laughing Waters Road Eltham
Yellow Box - Arthurs Creek Road Hurstbridge
Wippells Oak - St Andrews Road Kanqaroo Road
Pines and Cedar - Hurst family cemetery
Greysharps Road Hurstbridge
Yellow Box - Parsons Road Eltham
A large Blue Gum at Panton Hill has been listed but has recently died (1991).

In 1993 work by Council Parks and Environment staff and volunteers resulted in the preparation of a Significant Tree Register listing forty-one trees or groups of trees. According to Shire of Eltham Historical Society Newsletter No. 91, March 1993, a similar number remained to be assessed for inclusion in the register. There is a wide range of indigenous and planted trees on private and public land and extending through the Shire of Eltham from Lower Plenty to Kinglake. Most can be viewed from publicly accessible locations.
The Significant Tree Register lists 41 trees or groups of trees throughout the Shire. It contains a wide range of naturally occurring and planted trees. They have been assessed according to eleven criteria including size, age, rarity, historical value and the like. The list includes large old Red Gums at Lower Plenty, historic Oaks at Kangaroo Ground and Mountain Ash at Kinglake. The register includes a set of slides showing each tree. Garry Bartlett of the Council's Parks and Environment Section and Faye Shepherd were extensively involved in establishment of the register (Newsletter No. 93, November 1993).

In 1999 Niliumbik planners prepared an amendment to the Planning Scheme to provide protection for approximately 200 of the places listed in the heritage studies and also in the Significant Tree Register commenced by the Eltham Council (Eltham District Historical Society Newsletter No. 127, July 1999.

In 2004, The Register of Significant Trees was presented to the Eltham District Historical Society by Nillumbik Shire Council as part of a wider collection of of its memorabilia of the former Eltham Shire Council (EDHS Newsletter No. 159, July 2004.

Physical description

Album of loose handmade paper sheets contained within a handmade slip cover constructed of handcrafted card with encapsulated flora material (flowers, vines, ferns) and tinted. Each page also contains an embedded/adhered fern leaf also tinted with lacqueur or similar, text as appropriate in ink by hand calligraphy. Each page also has a white protective sheet cut to size and adhered to back surface with sticky tape and folded over face of page. Pages variously have photographs and coloured masks adhered with a gum resin. Over time much of this resin has let go and photos/masks have been reattached using acid free archival safe adhesive. 15 pages 41 x 29 cm inclusive of 3 blank pages. Slip case 42 x 30 x 1 cm; face cover of slip case has broken off at left hand margin as insufficient depth/flexibility for contents.