The 'Separation Tree', locatedon the Tennyson Lawn is one of two original River Red Gums that bordered the swampy billabong which later became part of the Ornamental Lake. The trees are estimated to be between 300 and 400 years old.
The Separation Tree was certainly the most prominent landmark in the early Gardens.It was quite appropriate that it was on the newly established lawns that the public celebrated the proposed separation of the Colony of New South Wales from Victoria,to take effect from July 1st, 1851.
Mr A.C. Neate in his "Odd Notes, Botanic Gardens, Melbourne", compiled in 1896, provides an account of the celebrations, based on a conversation he had with a Mr R. Harrison who had been described the event by Mr J. Dallachy, the second Curator.
"A very large widespreading and now venerable Gum tree was used as the centre around which the Superintendant of the Province LaTrobe, the officers of the Government and probably many colonists met for the purpose of the celebrations".
The tree was vandalised in 2010 and its recovery is being closely monitored