(Mountain Grey Gum, Eucalyptus cypellocarpa, Lardner Rd Drouin)
You no doubt would have seen the beginnings of Drouin.
As recently, (in your terms), as 1879, you would have seen Mr. John Startup begin his sawmill just down the road from where you stood. You probably watched him construct his tramway and start his quarry in the vicinity.
Somehow you managed to survive the axmen as they cleared the land around you for timber. You would have seen the first horse and cart to use the road that passes beneath your wonderful canopy; given shade to the schoolchildren as they walked home on a hot day.
I wonder how much pollution you have absorbed from the increasing number of cars that nowadays rush by? How much carbon have you sequestered?
Yes, you were wounded and disease had entered your mighty trunk, but your aged hollows provided accommodation for untold numbers of birds and animals over the years.
We trimmed your limbs for power lines and you still struggled on. We widened the road right to your very trunk. Then you became a hazard but it was us that made you so. We are so sorry.
We’d like to think that you won’t be forgotten. You undoubtedly have provided memories for many people. We are hopeful of planting some new trees in your memory so that your legacy will live on.
Goodbye old tree and thank you.
It was difficult to watch. Over the day as I witnessed the demise of this Drouin giant, it seemed to me, that at times as the chainsaw screamed so did the tree – at least in my mind it did.
Several particularly poignant moments occurred as a pair of ravens kept returning to the site and circling the ever diminishing structure that once was their nest tree.