The Bum Tree, Berry NSW: A Salvaged Legacy

Known to some as the Bum Tree, its age and the origin of its posterial burl was the realm of folklore. The tree was easily the largest along that road, the maximum diameter of the trunk at breast height was 1.7 metres (the viewer’s not the tree’s), and its canopy arched gracefully above the road and the forest opposite. In 2014, the Shoalhaven City Council determined that this tree on the road verge impeded road safety and should be removed. The decision prompted considerable opposition and debate. The tree was felled on 14 March, 2014. Then Berry Landcare began a project to salvage a sample ‘slice’ of the trunk and determine the tree’s age. The objective was to provide a record for future research, and reference data to assist future decisions in managing old-growth trees. The Shoalhaven City Council agreed to fund project costs. The slice can be seen at the Berry Museum and the salvaged burl at the Shoalhaven Heads Swimming pool.