Under the Trees

15 May 2017

The University’s space management facility provides an interactive online map of all trees on Parkville, Southbank and Werribee campuses.

Yes, all trees!

As if this information isn’t exciting enough already, the map describes each tree by its botanical name, common name, height, canopy…and much more. All of this is available at a mere click.

Based on data from an October 2016 survey, the map aims to record and sustain all University landmarks. Farrago is touched that each individual tree is considered important enough to be part of it.

To give them the attention they evidently deserve, I visited a small selection of our foliaged friends at Parkville. Read on to gain exclusive insight into their hidden lives.


Botanical name: Eucalyptus

Common name: Eucalypt

First on the list is a medium sized tree with a large personality.

Located between the Baillieu and Professors Walk Café, this fellow may appear to a passer-by as sad and lonesome. However, he is really quite the socialite.

When planted on the wooden bench in front of him, the friendly rustle of his leaves tells you stories if the wind picks up. He is quintessentially Australian in appearance and smells like
the outback.

He is also quite the gossip, dusty white branches leaning in to snoop when two people perch below to chat. This sly side slightly lessens his charm.


Botanical name: Corymbia Citriodora

Common name: Lemon-scented Gum

My favourite tree hangs out near that bunch of random rocks. You know the ones, next to an opening to the underground car park and that vaguely chilly walkway that comes out at Carte Crêpes.

Her leaves mingle with those of fellow tall trees in the surrounding area, allured by her peaceful aura.

She is grand, arms extending wide to create masses of shade. The grass beneath her is patchy, but she’s a perfect study partner if you don’t mind having soiled pants.

Her thick, sturdy branches also appear to be very climbable, but only if done so in a quiet and respectful manner.

Botanical name: Cercis Canadensis

Common name: Forest Pansy or Eastern Redbud

Next is a scrawny plant living at the Grattan Street entrance,
in front of the Gatekeeper’s Cottage that really should belong in
the forest.

He is supposed to sprout perky, pink buds every now and then, but I’ve never witnessed these. Instead he has grey bark and crumpled leaves, and is definitely too weak to be climbed.

He is small, surly and should be replaced by someone much more equipped to welcome people to the University.



Botanical name: Ginkgo Biloba

Common name: Maidenhair Tree

I approached a group of prickly babies next. They huddle on the right side of the concrete steps leading up to South Lawn.

One member of the group slopes against a light pole. She is very dependent.

The constant flow of students intimidates her during the daytime. She has the most luscious leaves of the group, and I think she is ostracised because her sisters are terribly jealous.

At night the pole beside her lights up and she shines bright in its reflection. She’s still pretty timid and useless though. She needs to learn to value herself.


Botanical name: Betula Pendula

Common name: Silver Birch

A humble tree stands behind a concrete bench near House of Cards, providing generous shade for coffee sippers.

He is very aesthetically pleasing, with puzzle-piece leaves on branches that form a perfect triangle when spotted from afar. This shape is reminiscent of a Christmas tree, exuding comforting and jolly vibes.

He seems to enjoy hugs and will listen to you with utter content.

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