Churchill’s Significant Trees

As from June 2023 Churchill residents should be pleased and proud as two of our very old tall Pinus Radiata trees have been added to the National Trust Tree Register and classified as significant trees. They will join another 2,500 trees throughout Australia and enjoy protection from removal and destruction from their spot on the hill. This gives the trees protection for the rest of their lives and they can continue to grow older with certainty.

They are the two old pines that stand on the corner of Monash Way and Balfour Place. This site was also the place of the first local school in 1901, originally Eel Hole Creek then Hazelwood South school until closure in 1968.

Heritage Pines

We have to thank Yinnar South resident, Dr Tony Hanning who earlier this year applied for the trees to be added the National Trust Tree Register. It was not until June 20, that his application was processed and Tony was advised that his application had been successful and that both trees have now been added to the National Trust Significant Tree Register.

National Trust Register

Information as now recorded on the National Trust Significant Tree Register for trees in Churchill is as follows:

Age of the two trees is 122 years, Height 25 metres. The common name of the trees is California Pine, Botanical Name Pinus Radiata, the other name ‘The Flynn Pines”, their condition is ‘good’, Municipality of Latrobe Victoria, location Monash Way Churchill, access is unrestricted, and their significance is historic at a regional level.

Statement of Significance.

The stand is significant for historic reasons as it is associated with an important person. The trees were planted in 1901 by John Flynn (Flynn of the Inland) while he was a temporary head teacher at Hazelwood South State School in Churchill. John Flynn was a pioneer of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Heritage Pines Plaque

Cairn on site

In June 1998 the Churchill and District Lions Club placed a memorial plaque beneath the pines which reads –

“This cairn was erected by the Churchill and District Lions Club as a memorial to John Flynn (Flynn of the Inland). An Australian pioneer of the Flying Doctor Service, who in 1901 was temporary head teacher at Hazelwood South School No 3350 which stood on this site. 27/6/1998.”

The National Trust – Who we are

National Trusts of Australia actively protect and conserve places of heritage significance for future generations to enjoy. They also created a national register of significant trees, which is consistent with the mission to protect and celebrate Australia’s heritage.

In the register there are over 2,500 significant trees recorded over the last 30 years by the National Trusts across Australia. These records are continually updated by volunteers and kept in the National Register.

It is a community-based, non-government organisation, committed to promoting and conserving Australia’s indigenous, natural and historic heritage through its advocacy work and its custodianship of heritage places and objects.

Significant Tree Committees in each state and territory comprise experts in a range of relevant fields including arboriculture, botany, heritage conservation, and environmental management.

The role of the Significant Tree Committees will be to seek and assess nominations for significant trees against the nationally agreed criteria. Significant Tree Committees will also promote awareness of the cultural value of significant trees, and advocate for statutory protection for registered trees under the relevant local Planning Scheme. For further information contact