GROWING CHAMP: The scribbly gum has measured up as out state's biggest in the book of Derek McIntosh.
GROWING CHAMP: The scribbly gum has measured up as out state's biggest in the book of Derek McIntosh. Contributed

Tree's crowning glory sees it hailed a champion

ONE of Noosa's grand old trees in the Noosa National Park has been toppled - at least for the title of the state's biggest scribbly gum in Derek McIntosh's book.

Thanks to a Noosa News article written back in December 2014, big tree "hunter” Derek, the co-ordinator of the National Register of Big Trees, has found a whopper tree to top the lot - so far.

"We have a bigger one,” Derek has just excitedly emailed the Noosa News.

This latest "champion of champions” of a scribbly gum growing stately beside Cooroibah Rd shades our national park former champion which was 200 years old and stood 18m with a 3.72m circumference.

Noosa's new claim to big tree fame is 20m high with a girth of 4.2m and a crown of 20m, and at only 125 years of age is a comparative "whippersnapper”.

He said this was a particularly eye-catching and attractive specimen that is certainly "huggable”.

"I was tempted to call it the 'Smooching Scribbly',” Derek said.

He said his register had generated a lot of interest in trees and positively taps into the human desire to find the biggest and the best.

And that's what keeps him going - knowing that there are almost certainly bigger, taller and broader timbers out there waiting to be discovered and championed.

"There might only be one champion tree for each species, but I try to find state champions as well,” he said.

Derek travels the length and breadth of the land measuring forest giants, usually after tip-offs from local tree lovers and would love to hear from Noosa big tree spotters.

This was the case here in Noosa and the Coast, even if the initial report of a challenger was made several years ago.

"The nominator of this tree, Rick Douglas, contacted me within a few days (of the Noosa News story), but only last month was I able to visit the Noosa/Sunshine Coast area to check out his tree, and the other trees that were nominated.”

He said with the help of local Dee Kiely, who lives near the Cooroibah Rd giant, he was able to determine the tree measured up and is a true champion.

Derek said thanks also to that 2014 story, another reader nominated a fig tree near Bli Bli.

"It was not big enough for inclusion in the register, but she told me about what is now the national champion leopard tree in Woombye.”

Derek's latest request: is there a giant poinciana in our midst who can top them all?

Go to nationalregister ofbigtrees.com.au.


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