Bland Oak tree receives Historic Tree status

Published Thursday, 6th December 2018

Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone with The Bland Oak tree.
Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone with The Bland Oak tree.

Carramar’s historic Bland Oak tree has been listed on the National Register of Significant Trees.

Council at its meeting held on 17 April 2018 resolved to apply to the National Trust of Australia to have the iconic tree, which grows in Oakdene Park, placed on the Register.

The application has been approved by the Board of the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

Listing of a significant tree by the Trust automatically affords it national status. 

Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone welcomed the decision to recognise such an important and treasured piece of Fairfield City’s history.

“The Bland Oak represents a significant part of our local heritage and is an historic symbol of our City, standing as a landmark beside Prospect Creek,” Mayor Carbone said.

“The tree’s unique shape tells a story of hardship, endurance and healing – a story that many of us can relate to.

“I am overjoyed that the tree has received the recognition it deserves and will continue to stand as a reminder of our rich history for generations to come.

“The tree stands as a reminder of our past and the journey our City has taken.

“It’s wonderful for our community that it’s now been recognised by the National Trust. This indicates not only its close connection with our local past and people, but now its importance to our nation’s history.

“I would like to thank the residents of Carramar and Villawood, particularly Lisa Trauntner, for contacting me to ask that the tree be listed.”

The Bland Oak Tree was planted around 1850 by prominent colonial identity, doctor and politician Dr William Bland (1789 - 1868).

It is believed the tree was planted from a seed that may have been given to Dr Bland by one of his botanically minded friends such as the Australian explorer, journalist and politician William Wentworth.

In 1930 during a violent storm the tree's trunk was split due to a lightning strike and the enormous weight of wet leaves. Fortunately the knowledge and careful attention of a tree expert saved the tree by supporting the limbs with metal bands and frames.

Today, despite being propped up by iron struts, it stands 13 metres tall with a 30 metre wide canopy.

During the listing process, the tree was thoroughly tested and its exact species was confirmed as Quercus virginiana, known as Live Oak in the USA. The Live Oak can live for up to 300 years.