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Ancient Ironbark Oldest in Sydney

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A 160-year-old ironbark tree standing in the corner of an old church yard in Glebe is thought to be the oldest tree in Sydney outside of the botanical gardens.

Standing quietly in the grounds of St John’s Anglican Church, the ancient tree has been dated by Sydney council arborist, Karen Sweeney, who says it is at least 160 years old and possibly quite a lot older than that.

Pre-dating European settlement, the 16 metre high tree is thought to be the last remnant of a large ironbark forest that dominated the area at one time and it is considered by the local Glebe Aboriginal community to have special spiritual significance.

The only older trees in Sydney are a Sydney red gum, a southern mahogany and a handful of swamp oaks, all residing in the botanic gardens and Glebe’s ancient ironbark has accordingly been listed on the Sydney council’s significant tree register.

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