Lone Pine trees dispatched to mark ANZAC centenary
10 April 2015
Descendants of the Gallipoli Peninsula’s Lone Pine have left Scion for destinations around New Zealand for planting at events associated with ANZAC Day centenary commemorations.
About 50 two-year old seedlings of this special tree were propagated by Scion at its research nursery in Rotorua and gifted to RSAs nationwide.
The seeds were collected in 2012 from the Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia) growing at Paeroa Golf Course. This tree is an authenticated New Zealand descendant of the original Lone Pine and traces back to a pine cone brought home by Australian soldier Sergeant Keith McDowell after World War 1.
Scion tree breeder Toby Stovold who collected the seeds and helped raise the seedlings said he first got involved in 2009 when approached by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanting to donate seedlings from the Paeroa tree to RSAs in the region.
“From the 2012 seed collection we have raised close to 50 seedlings that we have been able to donate for commemorative plantings this year,” said Toby.
RSAs around the country from Waiuku to Invercargill have taken up Scion’s offer to include a seedling in their ANZAC Day commemoration ceremonies. Seedlings have also gone to the National Army Museum in Waiouru for a memorial garden. Another seedling will be planted in Christchurch’s Park of Remembrance on Poppy Day.
In Rotorua, the home of Scion, a seedling will be planted in the Government Gardens at an evening ceremony on 23 April to consecrate Rotorua’s Field of Remembrance, which will be in place from 23 – 28 April.
Scion General Manager of Forest Science Brian Richardson said Scion was uniquely placed to make this meaningful contribution to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.
“I am humbled by the loyalty and sacrifice of all those who have served for our country, and am very proud that Scion can gift these trees as a living memorial to honour our veterans and their descendants.