How the rosewood tree was reborn in Rosewood

Below is a Letter to The Editor that was featured in the Moreton Border News on Friday 5/2/2010, written by Arnold Rieck:
“‘YOUR article on the Rosewood Tree (Moreton Border News 22.01.10) demands a response from me’

On Australia Day in 1988 – our bicentenary – many Rosewood Trees were planted out in Rosewood. Two rows along the road leading to the Rosewood Golf Club, several at the Rosewood State School along School St, and two at the entrance to the High School.

These had been propagated at the High School nursery by my horticulture students. Several were planted by the Moreton Shire Council along Walloon Road. In all these localities our local Rosewood tTees were an actual delight a month ago. All the trees were a mass of white blossoms. Branches were so heavy in flower that the trees branches were drooping towards the ground.

Several Rosewood Trees in the projects I co-ordinate, the Rosewood Scrub Arboretum and Masons Gully revegetation area were also in full bloom three weeks ago.

Along the northern edge of Apex Park parallel to William Street some more Rosewood Trees planted by the Council years ago were a delight to see. There’s a row of Rosewoods lining the car park at the Railway Station in Rosewood.
The town of Rosewood gave its name to the long lived Acacia fasciculifera. The early settlers found the timber to be termite resistant, split easily and made excellent fence posts – better than ironbark in the scrub country.

Jack Downing who lives on a farm at the Bluff boasts that his fence posts of rosewood are as good today as they were when put into the ground over 100 years ago. Mature trees around Rosewood are rare as the farmers in the scrub prized them. So did the original settlers of the scrub country – the Jagera people. The aborigines of the Rosewood scrub and probably the Boonah scrub too, made the most durable spears in the region. Tips were hardened in a fire.
The local aborigines traded these top quality spears with other tribes as far north as the lower Mary River and to the south into the Big Scrub in northern New South Wales. These spears made from the local rosewood tree were highly sought after.

Before the bicentenary in 1988 there were no rosewood trees in Rosewood. Today there are lots and a majority of Rosewood residents can now recognize the tree. The Ipswich City Council has acceded to the concept that the roads leading into Rosewood be lined with our rosewood trees.
It’s a concept that the Ipswich branch of the Society for Growing Australian Plants has suggested to the council. So it’s over to SGAP members to propagate them for the Council. Here’s hoping.
Arnold Rieck, Rosewood.”

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