The Big Tree at Mountain Home Farm

Why Visit

The magnificent specimen at the centre of this grove of Eucalyptus botryoides is believed to be the tallest in the world.

They were planted by the Meikles family about 1904 and the Big Tree when measured in 1977 was more than 63 metres tall.

Located in the deep well-watered soils of Penhalonga by the Mutare River, they have flourished since being imported from their home in New South Wales, Australia.

Description

The Big Tree and its companions stand a few hundred metres from the Mutare River which has backed up into an impressive dam. Eucalyptus botryoides is indigenous to Australia along the coasts of southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria where it commonly reached 40 metres and sometimes 45 metres in height. However, the over 63 metres of this specimen exceeds them all and Lyn Mullin quotes the late professor L.D. Pryor of the Australian national university, Canberra with saying: “it must be the biggest botryoides in existence.”

In Australia, Wollongong’s Native Trees, says the tree was often known to old woodcutters as the “Wollybutt” and goes on to say the tree is commonly found in deep, fertile soils at the edges of rainforest and at the edges of moist gullies. Its’ other names are the southern mahogany and bangalay.

Eucalyptus botryoides and Eucalyptus saligna are considered two distinct species in Australia occupying separate habitats; the first along coastal strips and bark described as grey, shortly fibrous, or tessellated to stringy; the second further inland and with smoother bark. Lyn Mullin and his colleagues consider that the smooth bark of the upper branches of the Eucalyptus botryoides on Mountain Home may mean they originated in the Bateman’s Bay region of New South Wales, a zone of transition between the two species.

When to visit

All year around

Fee

Not applicable Zimbabwe Scenic Sites