Backward Glance: Sleeping giants and tall timbers
  • Wednesday 27 July 2016
Today’s Backward Glance is dedicated to National Tree Day celebrated on Sunday, July 31. 

Sunshine Coast has named streets after trees and over the past century, even though our skyline and landscape have changed, trees have been a constant theme in the region. 

Past generations turned massive slabs of cedar and silky oak made into doors, furniture and wooden flooring.

During the 1800s and into the 20th century, the trees of the Blackall Range were regularly cut down from the slopes and sent tumbling down the chutes of Landers and McCarthy, now local lookouts on the range, to be sent to the timber mill by bullock wagon or steamer.

Explorer William Landsborough's wife Maria planted two Moreton Bay fig trees near their home in approximately 1884, on the location now known as Landsborough Parade, Golden Beach. Landsborough had obtained the trees at Kilcoy Station at that time. 

The Magnolia tree opposite Currie Park in Nambour is an introduced beauty with a story to tell. 

Nambour is indebted to American Daniel Currie, a member of the Royal Geographical Society, who planted a magnolia seed in the early 1900s. 

The seeds had been brought back from Mississippi by Mary Cator (nee Currie) when she went there for a holiday as a present for her father Daniel Currie. 

Originally the tree was growing on a larger area of land when it was planted on nearly four acres being Daniel Currie's land. Daniel Currie had selected 640 acres in 1882 and named the selection Bundarra. 

Currie built a house and planted an orange orchard where present day Magnolia Street is located. Currie Street, Nambour is named in Daniel Currie's honour. 

Daniel's son, Thomas, donated land on Magnolia Street to the Crown (gazetted in 1933). This land is now known as Currie Park. 

The magnolia tree Magnolia grandiflora has huge perfumed flowers which flowers from November to January.

Moffat Head was the original location of the 'Queen of Colonies' Pandanus tree which stood on the headland above the site where 13 passengers in a small boat from the Queen of the Colonies ship were cast ashore in stormy weather in 1863. 

The trunk of the Pandanus tree was inscribed with the name of the ship. 

Landsborough Shire Council erected a fence around the Pandanus in 1920 and continued to maintain the tree until it finally deteriorated in the late 1940s. 

In 1963, a formal concrete memorial was erected on the site and the section of the tree trunk bearing the inscription was relocated for display at the Royal Queensland Historical Society's museum, Brisbane.

This year National Tree Day is held on Friday, July 29 for local schools and on Sunday, July 31, there will be many people out planting trees in our parks and on our dunes.
Volunteers over the past 20 years have planted more than 22 million trees, shrubs and plants in Australia. 

There's lots of ways for you to be involved in greening your community and making a difference to your local environment. Dig in and make a world of difference to our local environment this National Tree Day – Sunday, July 31. 

Thank you to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

Image captions
Hero image: Group taking a picnic break while felling trees on Burnett's property, Buderim, ca 1897.

Carousel images:
Image 1: Clearing land on Hubert Hoare's property, Woombye, ca 1930.
Image 2: 'Cotton Tree' on Cotton Tree Parade, Maroochydore, 1949.
Image 3: Descendants of Australian explorer William Landsborough at the Landsborough Tree plaque unveiling ceremony at Golden Beach, Caloundra, August 23, 1966.