Hovell Red-Gum Clone

Planted at Wrightly, North of Tatong, June 2013
In Commemoration of the Hume and Hovell expedition.

This sapling is a clone of the Blakely’s Redgum into which Captain William Hovell carved the words “Hovell NovR17/24”, on November 17th 1824, on the banks of what we call the Murray river (they named it the "Hume"), in the area now known as Albury.
189 years later, that tree is still alive despite termites.

Hamilton Hume carved upon another tree, which was burnt down in fires in the 1840s.

Now Vic Hartney, a specialist in eucalypt micropropagation from the CSIRO Division of Forestry and Forest Products, has taken shoots from the aging Blakely’s Redgum & grafted them onto river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) root stock
Albury City arranged for the Hovell Tree to be cloned, and offered a clone to each of the 21 Local Government Areas, from Yass to Geelong, which now exist in the area through which Hume & Hovell passed.

On June 20th 2013, Dean Steegstra of Benalla Council, assisted by Brett & Paul, brought out the sapling and planted it a little North of the Hume & Hovell monument. That concrete monolith was erected in 1924, and is itself a little North of where Hume and Hovell camped by the creek.

The digging was done by Brett and Paul; and it was not easy digging. Members of the Tatong Heritage Group cheered them on. Special guest was Dulcie Mitchell, one-time local, and descendant of Hamilton Hume’s sister. Dulcie’s father Cliff Maxwell once carted potatoes from Fern Hills.

The tree is a very kind gift from Albury, and we hope it will grow into a grand specimen, in memory of an expedition when this part of the world was very different.

The tree arrives; carried by Brett.


Ten days after they carved their names on trees by the Murray (or Hume) River -
on November 27th 1824, Hamilton Hume & William Hovell camped South of Tatong, on the banks of the Hollands, “
happening to find a small supply of fodder for the cattle”.

The tree is planted by the monument which was put up in 1924, to commemorate Hume & Hovel passing just to the SW of where it stands.


Paul wields the shovel; Brett holds up the tree.


Dean Steegstra waters in the Hovell Tree Clone


Brett and Paul who did the hard yards; behind them some members of the Tatong Heritage Group, who gave moral support.


The Tatong (Fern Hills) clone of the Hovell Tree.
NB, this would not have been the backdrop Mssrs Hume & Hovell saw.

This sapling is a clone of the Blakely’s Redgum into which Captain William Hovell carved the words “Hovell NovR17/24
It is unlikely the clone will reproduce the words, but one can always hope.




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