National broadcaster in search for Australia’s favourite tree

Illawarra Flame Tree

DO you love Illawarra’s own native flame tree?

Now’s your chance to vote for the spectacular red-flowering plant in a search to find Australia’s favourite tree.

This National Science Week, ABC Science wants people to go online and vote for their favourite tree.

Botanist Professor Tim Entwisle says at last, trees are been given the same respect as the birds that perch in them!

“This is a celebration of the many roles native trees play in our lives – from home and habitat for wildlife through to the clean air and oxygen we all need to survive,” he said.

“Essential to life, and beautiful too.”

ABC’s Dr Ann Jones says the idea is to get to know our endemic trees.

“We’d love people to take this opportunity to learn more about their local tree life and tell us their three favourites,” Dr Jones said.

ABC’s resident tree-lovers have long-listed 33 species in consultation with horticulturalists. Among the contenders are:

  • Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) — native to Australia’s eastern coast
  • Quandong (Santalum acuminatum) — found widely in the deserts in central and southern Australia
  • Huon pine (Lagarstrobos franklinii) — from Tasmania’s rainforests and swamps
  • Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) — of south-west Western Australia
  • Macadamia tree (Macadamia integrifolia) — growing naturally in the coastal rainforests of the QLD-NSW border region
  • Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) — standing tall in forests of Victoria and Tasmania.

For more about each tree and to vote for your favourite, visit

The poll opens today (Monday August 1). A shortlist of 10 finalists will be announced on Friday August 12, and the winner on Friday August 26 on Radio National and Gardening Australia.

Australia’s Favourite Tree is the online project for National Science Week 2022, undertaken by ABC Science with funding through the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia strategy.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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