to the ninth edition of the Wollemi Watch, a quarterly newsletter
for Wollemi Pine enthusiasts everywhere.
has been an exciting few months with the global launch and
auction of the First Generation Collectors Edition Wollemi
Pines. In this edition we report on the success of the launch
and also announce the opportunity for Australian based Wollemi
Pine Conservation Club Members to place an advance order for
a Wollemi Pine for the April 2006 release. We reveal the progress
of plans to import the Wollemi to New Zealand, profile a key
player on the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team and present the latest
information on the updated Recovery Plan and "critical
your new wallpaper.
Wollemi Pine Auction Success
launch and auction of the Collectors Edition Wollemi Pines was a
great success and a fitting tribute to 11 years of research and
conservation work. Thousands of Wollemi enthusiasts visited the
"Wollemi Pine Wilderness Unveiled" exhibition at the Sydney
Royal Botanic Gardens (Oct 14-23) and the Sotheby's auction was
unprecedented with 100% of the 292 trees sold and over A$1,000,000
highlight of the auction was the A$150,000 paid for the "Sir
Joseph Banks Collection", a selection of 15 trees with each
tree grown from one of each of the 15 original trees in the wild
from which cuttings were taken. The average price for a single tree
was approximately A$3,600.
sale also raised significant funds for a number of conservation
organisations in Australia and internationally, in particular the
A$26,000 raised for the Royal
Botanic Gardens Sydney and A$14,000 for the Blue
Mountains World Heritage Institute.
majority of purchasers were private collectors with stately homes
and gardens around Australia. About 10% of the trees were bought
by overseas purchasers, mostly within the UK. A number of botanic
gardens in Australia and internationally were gifted Wollemi Pines
by generous benefactors. The Collectors Edition Pines were also
popular among universities, colleges, and hospitals for commemorative
plantings and as special gifts.
Chairman Justin Miller dubbed the auction the second only "white
glove" sale ever in Australia - meaning all lots were sold.
"It was an electric atmosphere at the auction with hundreds
of bidders from Australia and around the world competing for the
coveted Pines," said Mr Miller. "Like the discovery of
the Wollemi Pine, the sale will go down in history as a truly remarkable
"Wollemi Pine Wilderness Unveiled Exhibit" was designed
by Australia's pre-eminent urban design and landscape architecture
firm, EDAW Gillespies, with
the construction managed by multi award winning landscape design
and construction company, Above
the Earth. Together with the timber boardwalk provided by Landmark
and the support of Galuku (a
distributor of premium cocopeat products) and other generous industry
sponsors, the Exhibit was a tribute to the natural setting of the
Pines in the Blue Mountains and their prehistoric past.
auction catalogues are still available as souvenirs of the historic
event. The catalogue is a 64 page colour magazine that details all
148 lots sold at the October 23 auction. As many of the lots are
named after famous past and present scientists and naturalists,
the catalogue is a fascinating documentary of plant collecting and
To purchase the catalogue
view the auction lots sold
the Scenes with David Crust
Crust manages over 350 000 hectares of protected lands, including
the Wollemi National Park, for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife
Service in Mudgee.
is also on the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team and oversees the bi-annual
scientific research visits to the wild population of Wollemi Pines.
in National Parks for over 20 years, David has been involved in
the full range of bush conservation duties from biodiversity research
and pest management to mapping and cultural heritage. David's area
of expertise is fire management. He represents the NPWS on various
fire committees and worked as an Air Attack Supervisor and Divisional
Commander on major forest wildfires throughout Northern California
and Central Oregon USA in 2002.
fire is a potential threat to the wild population of Wollemi Pines,
David believes humans carrying disease on their footwear is the
most serious threat of all. David's responsibility of managing access
to the site is crucial to the species' survival in its natural habitat.
has been involved in drafting the recommendation to declare the
wild population of the Wollemi Pines, 1% of the Wollemi National
Park, as "critical habitat" (see the story below on the
Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan Update).
David is a keen bushwalker. He also enjoys alpine skiing and sailing.
tuned to hear more about people like David who are behind the scenes
in the conservation of the Wollemi Pine.
can now advance order Wollemi Pines
and ordering details for the general release of the ancient and
rare Wollemi Pine are now available. A range of plants will be available
from April 2006, however advance ordering will guarantee availability.
This is your chance finally to secure your own living fossil.
Wollemi Pine will make a unique special occasion or Christmas gift
or a gift for the person who has everything," said Barbara
McGeoch, General Manager of Wollemi Pine International. "Our
aim with this general release has been to ensure we have a range
of affordably priced Wollemi Pines for all who wish to care for
two available sizes are a 150mm pot size (approx. 40cm tall plant)
and a 200mm pot size (approx. 60cm tall plant) with RRPs from A$55
and A$95 respectively.
Wollemi Pine, the ultimate survivor, has proven to be hardy and
versatile in cultivation. It is not only attractive and striking
in appearance, it is easy to grow and low maintenance. It will adapt
to a diverse range of climatic zones, thriving in full sun to semi-shaded
Wollemi Pine will make an ideal feature tree for large gardens and
parklands, but can also be maintained in a pot on patios, verandahs
and in courtyards. It can be used as indoor decoration in well lit
areas and tolerates air-conditioning.
can be done at any one of the 100+ stockists in Australia, via mail
order, fax and phone (1-800-WOLLEM) as well as online.
Place order now
who orders a Wollemi Pine will receive an authentication/gift certificate
and care booklet - the plant will then be delivered by 1 April 2006
in time for the national release.
Pine Conservation Club Members advance orders will be handled prior
to the general release and delivered at the end of March.
from the sale of the Wollemi Pine will be invested in the conservation
of the Pine and other rare and threatened plant species.
of the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Korea or New Zealand: We will
be announcing availability of the Wollemi Pine in your countries
in the coming months. In the meantime, please stay in touch and
join our Wollemi
Pine Conservation Club
Wollemi Pine to become NZ's first imported plant in 7 years
Wollemi Pine is set to become the first new registered plant in
New Zealand since 1998 with the Environmental Risk Management Authority
(ERMA New Zealand) approving the importation of the ancient and
rare species, a close relative to New Zealand's own Kauri. The Ministry
of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) protocols are yet to be finalised
but it is expected that New Zealanders will soon be able to acquire
their own Wollemi Pines.
comes at an exciting time as the global launch of the ancient and
rare Wollemi Pine was celebrated recently at Sydney's Royal Botanic
Gardens and culminated in the successful auction of 292 First Generation
Collectors Edition Wollemi Pines which raised over A$1,000,000 with
an average of A$3,600 a tree.
addition to royalties from the auction funding the conservation
of the Wollemi Pine and other rare and threatened plant species,
proceeds from selected auction lots were donated to Australian and
international conservation organisations. The proceeds of A$16,000
from Lot 25, 'The Given Collection', named after New Zealand-born
plant conservationist and curator of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
David Given, will go to the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.
are extremely excited to be introducing the Wollemi Pine to New
Zealand. This rare, precious and unique tree has been likened to
discovering a dinosaur alive and we are delighted that New Zealanders
will now be able to enjoy this ancient wonder," said David
Joining the Wollemi Pine Conservation Club registers your interest
in purchasing a Wollemi Pine when they are released in NZ.
File: Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan Update
population of endangered Wollemi Pines is the only known population
in the world, and protection is fundamental to the survival of the
species in the wild. The recently updated Wollemi Pine Recovery
Plan identifies conservation actions over the next five years. Key
to the success of the Recovery Plan, is the recommendation to declare
the area, 1% of the Wollemi National Park, a "critical habitat".
A map of the area would only be published if the threat from unauthorised
visits significantly increases. This would activate the regulation,
and visitation to the area, marked by signage, would become an offence.
It is currently an offence to "damage" Wollemi Pine habitat
or 'pick' the wild trees at any time, carrying a penalty of up to
$110,000 and/or 1 year in jail or $220,000 and/or two years jail
Major threats to the Wollemi Pine other than fire and climate change
is a soil borne fungal like disease that can be carried in by humans
called Phytophthora. There is concern currently as the latest tests
have shown that an individual tree in the wild has been infected by
Phytophthora cinnamomi. However, measures are being put in
place to try to stem the spread of this threatening disease.
The Recovery Plan will be on public exhibition for eight weeks after
which time the Minister for the Environment will consider public
submissions before finalising the Plan.
View the updated Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan
to experience the Wollemi Wilderness? Download your own Wollemi wallpaper >> Click Here