No longer the well kept Otways secret, the majestic Redwood forest beckons visitors to wander through the carpeted forest floor, these enormous trees compelling our silence and whispers.
But what of the history? Who planted them here, when and why?
Roger Smith provides the answers to these questions and more in, The Redwoods of the Otway Ranges. Smith tells us that the first experimental planting of the Sequioa sempervirens was in 1929, then 1930 & 1932 in the Aire Valley by the Forest Commission. Four years later in 1936 the river flat near the Aire Bridge Crossing was chosen for further planting. This proved to be a successful site due to the fertile soil and the dense scrub which was a useful shelter for the early growth years.
It is thought that the seedlings were most likely grown in the Macedon
Nursery, possibly originating from the West Coast of North America. When the stands were 41 years of ages the height was 40.3, climbing to 59.8 in 2004, and at 68 years old showing rapid growth rivaling other Redwood plantations in the world.
Smith, R, (2015), The Redwoods of the Otway Ranges, Lothian Custom Publishing, Melbourne.
Zappelli, I. Beech Forest 100 Years