A remnant River Red Gum tree used as a reference marker by the Government surveyor Robert Hoddle in April 1844 when surveying crown land for the first land sales in Kew in 1845.
The Hoddle Survey Tree is a remnant River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) used by Robert Hoddle in April 1844 as a reference marker when he surveyed Kew in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Hoddle's 1844 field book shows the location of the tree south of the Yarra River notated with '1. Stake Gum'. In 1994 John Parker, Surveyor General of Victoria, confirmed the identity, location and history of this tree. [Ref: Traverse, February 1994, pp. 8-9]. Known and fixed reference points are critical to the surveying of land, and hills or trees were often used prior to modern surveying techniques. The tree is believed to be over 300 years old.
The Hoddle Survey Tree is growing on the south bank of the Yarra River in the grounds of the Kew Golf Course. The tree is adjacent to the Belford Road extension and below the twelfth green. The tree is 36 metres in height and has a girth of 3.6 metres. The canopy has a spread of 12.5 metres (N-S) and 13 metres (E-W). (20/2/2014).
This site is part of the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people.
How is it significant?
The Hoddle Survey Tree is of historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criteria for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Criterion B Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria's cultural history
Criterion H Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria's history.
Why is it significant?
The Hoddle Survey Tree is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The 1844 Hoddle Survey Tree is historically significant and rare as the earliest known remaining survey tree in Victoria. It also predates all known built survey markers in Victoria. Known and fixed reference points are critical to the surveying of land. Hills or trees were often used prior to modern surveying techniques. [Criteria B]
The Hoddle Survey Tree is historically significant for its association with Robert Hoddle who used this remnant River Red Gum as a survey marker in April 1844 for the Kew subdivision. From 1837 Hoddle was Officer-in-Charge of the Port Phillip Survey Department and became the first Surveyor General of Victoria in 1851. He is a central figure in the history of surveying, cartography and geography in Victoria. [Criterion H]