Branch of history

By ANITA HULM

IT'S the "rockstar" of trees and Boyds Bay Garden World is one of the few venues in Australia to get a "gig".

The West Tweed nursery has recently taken possession of some Wollemi pines, and the staff are just as excited as the customers.

The Wollemi pine is one of the oldest and rarest trees on the planet, and it has now gone on sale at more than 100 nurseries across Australia.

But you just can't walk in, buy one and take it away. You must pre-order a Wollemi pine now and it will be delivered in April next year.

The Wollemi pine was discovered in 1994 by avid bushwalker and NSW National Parks and Wildlife officer David Noble just 200km west of Sydney in a rainforest gorge.

Sales of the plants to the Australian public is part of the plan to conserve the Wollemi Pine for future generations and to raise awareness of conservation internationally.

There are just 100 mature trees in the wild, but the sale will mean many more in homes and parks across Australia.

Royalties from the sale will fund the conservation of the pines in the wild.

Boyds Bay Garden World retail manager Ian Brown likens the plant, with its unusual dark-green foliage, bubbly bark and multiple trunks as similar to a Norfolk pine and says it is very versatile when it comes to the way you use it in your garden or home.

"I have been up to the nursery and they are fantastic," he said.

It can cope with well-lit indoor spaces, air-conditioning, semi-shaded outdoor positions and can be also used as a hedge, grown in a tub or let go wild in the backyard or a park to create a huge tree.

In the wild they have grown up to 40 metres tall.

Two sizes are available ? a 40cm plant will cost $55 and a 60cm plant $95.

Everyone who orders one of the historic trees will receive an authentication certificate and a care booklet.

For information visit www.wollemipine.com



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