Green thumbs to get busy on Sunday during National Tree Day

GREEN thumbs are expected to get their hands dirty planting new trees across the region on Sunday during National Tree Day.

Rockhampton Regional Council is hosting a tree planting exercise along Frenchville Road between 11am and 2pm.

Rockhampton Regional Council councillor and gardening expert Cr Neil Fisher said National Tree Day was an excellent opportunity for residents to revegetate an area ravaged by Cyclone Marcia.

"We're encouraging residents and visitors to come along and help out by getting their hands dirty while doing something worthwhile and lasting for the environment," Cr Fisher said.

"We'll be planting local species such as the vulnerable native Scarlet Fuchsia or Graptophyllum, native tussock grasses like Lomandra and native Hibiscus with up to six varieties available to green up the area along Frenchville Road that saw many trees uprooted after Cyclone Marcia.

"This year, families can take home a free native plant to replace any that were destroyed on their property from the cyclone, so our whole community will benefit in some way."

Councillor Fisher said each year council and community members dug deep for National Tree Day, something that he was very proud of.

"Council and local residents have been involved with National Tree Day from the beginning in 1996, which is one of the longest and strongest partnerships with Planet Ark across Australia, and something that I'm extremely proud of," Cr Fisher said.

"In past years, National Tree Day projects have included Splitters Creek, Frenchman's Creek, Moore's Creek/Col Austin Park, Stenhouse Park, Donovan Park and Fred Thorsen Park. In fact, some 65,000 trees and grasses were planted along Moore's Creek and Col Austin Park. These trees have now matured into flourishing, green areas that our community and visitors can enjoy and be proud of too." 

There are limited plants and varieties, with one free plant per family, so get in early.

What: National Tree Day
When: Sunday, July 26
Time: 11am to 2pm
Where: Frenchville Road near Frenchman's Lane, Frenchville
Sausage sizzle provided on the day and parking is available in signed areas.

Please wear appropriate clothing (hat, covered shoes, long sleeved shirt and long pants recommended).

National Tree Day is Australia's largest tree planting and nature care event. Each year, more than 350,000 people from across the country attend thousands of sites organised by councils, schools, businesses and communities.

To register, please contact Council on 4932 9000 or 1300 22 55 77 or email For more information on National Tree Day go to

Did you know?

In 1935, a referendum was held in Rockhampton to select a tree to become the floral emblem of our city. The residents of our town at that time were given the opportunity to select from six flowering trees. The curator of our Botanical Garden at the time, Mr H G Simmons, had made the suggestions for the floral emblems with the native Bauhinia or Lysiphyllum hookerii being the successful tree.

The Rockhampton Girl Guides and Rockhampton City Council planted Campbell Street, from the Showgrounds to North Street, with the native Bauhinia in 1937.

5000 shrubs and more that 60000 grasses have been planted in Moores Creek, Frenchman's Creek and Splitters Creek for National Tree Day projects.

Other waterways that have been part of the National Tree Day plantings have been Frenchman's Creek 2000 and 2012, Lakes Creek 2001 and Thozet Creek in 2002, 2003 and 2009.

The last park that you pass leaving Rockhampton, heading towards the Gracemere roundabout, is named after two of Rockhampton's early nurserymen - brothers John and Patrick O'Shanesy - Irishmen from County Kerry. 

John O'Shanesy was a gardener by trade who first worked at Brisbane Botanic Gardens, then established his own nursery in Rockhampton in 1866.  Patrick O'Shanesy also established a nursery of his own 10 years later, at Kabra.

Acacia Oshanesii was named after John, and Solanum Shanesii was named after Patrick.

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