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Culture and heritage

The RJ Hamer Arboretum was originally part of the Dandenong and Woori Yallock State forest, proclaimed over 110 years ago. A succession of fires destroyed the original eucalypt forest and during 1948 -1955 softwood trees were planted on site as part of plans to improve Victoria's timber supplies.

The fires of 1962 destroyed the majority of these post war plantings and the government then investigated the future use of the area. Plans were developed for the establishment of an exotic forest Arboretum to be used as part of a firebreak for the Olinda township.

The RJ Hamer Arboretum is the first known occasion in which a forest style Arboretum was completely established by planting. A basic planting design was completed in 1970 and planting was carried out for the next 15 years.