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Massive Monarch at Risk

Massive Monarch at Risk

One of the state's, if not Australia's, oldest and largest tree has been discovered adjacent to several large logging coupes in Toolangi. Set amidst the western-most area of Gondwanic remnant rain forest, this tree's massive waistline could break national records. The tree is in a vulnerable part of state forest which is open to logging. Read more

One of Australia’s largest trees is expected to be destroyed by state government logging in Toolangi.

Yarra Valley residents were amazed to find the mountain ash monarch existed just 20 minutes from their local township but were dismayed to find that the government has plans to log to within metres of its location.

Located east of the Toolangi township, the ‘Kalatha’ monarch stands at a modest 65.5 metres high and has a girth of 17.55 metres. The Central Highlands of Victoria, water supply to Melbourne and the Murray, house most of the giants left in Victoria (Mifsud 2002).

The tree is at least 2 metres ‘fatter’ than the Ada tree in Gippsland which was previously recorded as the largest tree in Victoria. The ‘Kalatha' monarch has been estimated at more than 300 years old. However, unlike the Ada tree, this Yarra Valley giant is located in a section of unprotected state forest adjacent to several large logging coupes.

Outraged residents claim the logging could kill the tree by opening up the forests to warmer temperatures, increasing wind throw and risking coupe fire in this small pocket of Black Saturday surviving forest.

Concerned residents were checking a fuel reduction burn poster in the forests and stumbled on this giant, 10 metres from the road. Never did they expect to see a tree of this size.

“It was definitely the largest tree any of us have seen," Lorraine Leach, long-time Yarra Ranges resident, said.

It’s hard to believe it could have gone unnoticed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment who are endorsing the logging.

These ancient relics are as endangered as the animals that survive in them, especially post Black Saturday.

Residents have appealed to the government for a similar protection zone to the Ada Tree, a 600-hectare safety zone.

This tree is possibly the largest and oldest living thing in Victoria, so logging next to it is akin to expecting an antique like the Polly Woodside to survive a fierce storm surge.

This tree is part of our state's history and the story of our landscape, so it demands the highest level of government protection.

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