Honour a huggable tree through Melbourne’s Exceptional Tree Register

26 November 2018

Nominate a tree you love to be listed on our Exceptional Tree Register to protect it for future generations.

The register currently celebrates 169 special trees that stand on privately-owned or managed land in our city, including those of great age, rare species, outstanding size, particular habitat value or historic significance.

These trees were nominated by the community and evaluated by an expert panel when we launched the register in 2012. We are now inviting second-round nominations of exceptional trees on private land.

Bishopscourt, the historic East Melbourne residence of Archbishop Philip Freier and Joy Freier, is home to nine of the beautiful and characterful trees listed on the register, which the public can enjoy through regular tours.

Caroline Hohnen helps care for the garden as part of a group of volunteers, some of whom have been involved since 2001 when the grounds were completely overgrown. We invited Caroline to tell us about a few of her favourite trees on the property.

‘A large Monterey Cypress stands at the south-west corner of the garden, making a dramatic dark statement at the corner of Hotham and Clarendon streets. It’s a very huggable tree,’ Caroline said.

‘However, the best-known and most dramatic of Bishopscourt’s exceptional trees is the large red river gum, which dominates the border along Clarendon Street.

‘Its weeping foliage and grey and white trunk make a focal point when looking from the house to the west. As it stands next to the fence, passers-by also can enjoy its presence.’

When the old eucalypt on the front lawn was removed in 1997 for safety reasons, a replacement was needed. Now a seedling from the mature river red gum is growing vigorously at the top of the lawn.

Other trees in the garden include a glorious, domed Port Jackson fig, and lofty Dutch and English elms, which receive regular attention from arborists and treatment for elm leaf beetle.

‘The garden at Bishopscourt is an amazing space of calm and beauty in the middle of a bustling city. Its trees help to make it so, providing shade, colour, form and habitat,’ Caroline said.

‘Melbourne wouldn’t be Melbourne without its fully mature trees. Trees help clean the air and provide shade in our hot summers.’

Anyone can volunteer to help care for the garden and no experience is needed. To enquire, or book a tour (minimum numbers apply), email or phone 9653 4220.

To find out more, visit Exceptional Tree Register.

Fast fact
It’s not only trees in grand gardens that are listed on the Exceptional Tree Register. You can nominate any tree on private land. Listed trees are protected and a permit is needed to remove them or to undertake works that might affect their health or condition. The second round of nominations for the Exceptional Tree Register is open now and closes on 15 March.

Did you know
Young, mature and even dead trees all play an important role in our urban ecosystems and provide crucial habitat resources for wildlife. We work hard to care for trees throughout their life cycle, make sure they’re safe for the community to enjoy, and plant new trees to cultivate our future urban forest.

Share this story

You may also like
Six bold ways we care for our environment every day

Six bold ways we care for our environment every day

From reusing food waste to keep our parks thriving, to powering our city by renewables, Melbourne is a city that cares about the environment    You can feel proud that we’re a community of people rallying to make a difference through big and small...

Not to water it down, but rain is the key to our big green city

Not to water it down, but rain is the key to our big green city

Water is essential for liveability in Melbourne, keeping our green spaces healthy and cooling the city. Learn how we’re creating a more sustainable water system for the city.  Melbourne’s four seasons in one day may dampen the spirits of some, but the truth...

Ambitious water project to save 60 million litres

Ambitious water project to save 60 million litres

It’s home to the Carlton Football Club, local cricket and bowls clubs and a favourite for families, and now Princes Park is set to become home to our city’s next ambitious stormwater harvesting project.  The Princes Park Stormwater Harvesting Project will see excess...

Meet Melbourne’s water guru 

Meet Melbourne’s water guru 

Ever wondered how we keep Melbourne’s parks and gardens luscious and green for lunchtime strolls and weekend picnics? Meet Mohammad Kharouf, our city’s Senior Water Management Officer.  When Mohammad started as the City of Melbourne’s water management expert, he...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!