The Dig Tree

The Dig Tree The Dig Tree and Burke and Wills expedition through central Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria and return are an iconic part of Australia’s history.  Whilst most Australians are aware of the tragedies associated with the Burke and Wills saga and in particular the tree, very few are aware of where the tree is actually located or that the tree is still alive.  Even fewer Australians have visited The Dig Tree; this is due primarily to the remote location and sometimes extreme climatic conditions which may be encountered.  Until recently, the poor roads which lead to the channel country and Cooper Creek in south-west Queensland have also contributed to reduced visitor numbers.

It is also the remote location and roads which have assisted with the protection and longevity of The Dig Tree by minimising visitor impacts.  Whilst arid zone plants are usually hardy and adaptable, significant changes to the growing environment may initiate plant decline.  In this instance, it is the influences of visitors to the site that may lead to the decline in health of this living national monument.

In efforts to retain this significant tree Adam Tom (Principal Arborist of The Tree Doctor) has worked in conjunction with Dr Anthony Simmons, members of the Queensland Historical Society, officers of Bulloo Shire Council, representatives of Santos and Nappa Merrie Station and The Burke and Wills Society to ensure The Dig Tree remains healthy well into the future since 1999. His last visit to the tree to report on its health was in April 2012.

Scar Tree Preservation

Scar Tree Scar trees are trees which have had bark removed by Australian indigenous persons in the pursuit of making a variety of useful tools and implements.

Bark was typically removed by making deep cuts in a tree with a stone axe. The area of bark removed is regular in shape with slightly pointed or rounded ends. The scar usually stops above the root flare.

‘Scar trees’ are significant evidence of Aboriginal occupation and scarred trees can provide information on Aboriginal activities in the area that they are located.

Ceremonial trees are known as ‘dendroglyphs’

The Tree Doctor is committed to working with indigenous communities to identify, relocate, preserve and maintain significant scar and ceremonial trees. This ensures the preservation of Aboriginal heritage in areas where development would otherwise cause loss of such trees and sites for ever.

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