The sight of one of these fine trees is not all that remarkable until I noticed the three smaller trees, obvious offspring, growing nearby and a smaller established sapling growing just down the hill.
The Kurrajong tree being sparsely distributed and indeed often solitary was not generally cleared for grazing because its reputation as a 'fodder' tree was well known and the tree was an asset to graziers during periods of extended drought. This being the case unfortunately the Kurrajongs germinated seedlings were also a tasty morsel for stock reducing natural reproduction.
The Canberra suburb of Macarthur was first settled as a residential area in 1983 and leased grazing of the area would have ceased a few years prior to that. Allowing a few seasons for flowering and seed distribution this will have allowed the existing tree about 25 years unhindered by the grazing and trampling influences of cattle and sheep. My thoughts are that this lonesome solitary tree was a lot more numerous pre-settlement. It should be noted that Capitol Hill, the home of Australia's Parliament House was originally known as 'Kurrajong Hill' because of a lonesome specimen.
ref). I have also read that a palatable coffee substitute can also be made from the ground roasted seeds.
The last photo below shows the Kurrajong sapling down the hill just taking form as a strong looking tree. Left unmolested it will in turn now mature, flower and distribute its seed. The regeneration of our urban Canberra habitat can with time be quite remarkable...
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