You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Monster pine cones harvested at Werribee

News

Monster pine cones harvested at Werribee

Wednesday 19 March, 2014

Visitors strolling through Werribee Parks Gardens are now much less likely to be hit by a pinecone falling from one of the twelve Bunya Bunya Pine trees growing there.

Park Horticultural staff and intern students took to the skies in a cherry picker to remove the huge cones which can weigh up to 12kg.

“Unlike a lot of other pine cones these fall to ground intact, and being around the size of a pineapple, they can do quite a lot of damage if they land on someone’s head,” says Senior Horticulturalist Adam Smith.

“These Jurassic looking heritage trees are very old and huge, so we needed to go about 45metres vertically upwards to collect around a hundred cones. The biggest challenge for us was how to remove them safely in windy conditions at such a great height."

Bunya pines usually drop their cones around this time of year as they reach maturity, so part of the park’s tree management program is to harvest them every two years so that staff, visitors and vehicles are not damaged by these falling missiles.

Bunya Bunya's are one of the largest cone bearing trees in the world, and two of the Werribee Park trees are listed on the National Trust’s Significant Tree register.

Despite being natural bombshells, the cones are actually soft-shelled and each contains about 80 large, nutritious nuts which are a traditional food of Indigenous Australians. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and also ground into a paste to make a kind of bread when cooked in hot coals.

However these Werribee Park seeds won’t be eaten, but rather kept and propagated by Horticultural students in the Parks Heritage Sunken Glasshouse.



Media enquiries

Sally Nowlan
0417391175

Parks Victoria media centre

Recent Stories

Enjoy the magic of nature during Parks Week

Thursday 23 February, 2017
Remember how good it feels to be outdoors and immersed in nature? From exploring stunning coastlines, forests and mountain peaks,…

Have your say on Devilbend watercraft access

Monday 20 February, 2017
Parks Victoria is inviting the community to comment on plans to introduce non-powered recreational boating, including canoes and kayaks, in…

Historic huts in the Alps undergo restoration works

Monday 20 February, 2017
It has been all hands on deck recently with key restoration projects occurring at three historic huts located within the…

Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award now open

Friday 10 February, 2017
Applications are now open for the 2017 Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award. The award recognises outstanding projects that foster…

Pelican Island sand renourishment project a success

Monday 6 February, 2017
Sand renourishment and revegetation works undertaken in 2015 and 2016 to improve the habitat values for migratory birds on Pelican…

Hog Deer hunting to commence on Snake Island

Tuesday 31 January, 2017
The two-year trial of balloted Hog Deer hunting on Snake Island commences on Monday 6 February with a total of…

View all media releases