The annual Victorian Tree of the Year contest aims to raise awareness for the conservation of Victoria’s natural heritage and the benefits that significant trees can provide. The 281 elm trees that comprise the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour have collectively been named The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) 2020 Victorian Tree of the Year.
The Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour was planted in 1918 as a living memorial to those who served in World War I.
CEO of the National Trust Australia (Victoria) Simon Ambrose stated: “The contest came at a challenging time, following the devastating bushfires that tore through our country earlier this year, and the impact of COVID-19.
“We have heard some incredible stories about the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour, with voters reflecting on the service and sacrifice of loved ones during wartime. Many also noted the calming presence of this majestic avenue as the iconic entrance to Bacchus Marsh”.
This year marks the first time that a collection of trees has been awarded the Victorian Tree of the Year title. The Himalayan Oak at Bright Cemetery was announced as this year’s runner-up.
The Victorian Tree of the Year contest was inaugurated in 2016, with a mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) known as the “Kalatha Giant” – a symbol of bushfire survival for the Toolangi & Castella community after the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 – named the inaugural winner.