10. The Ole Oak Tree

ole oak treeA 1928 aerial photo of the tree shows a substantial tree then – planted no later than 1900 and probably a little before – making the tree well over 100 years old.

  • We assume it was planted by one of the early farming families in the area. We know there used to be a chook farm where the oval is now.   So there was probably some sort of farming there when the Oak was planted.  By the way, park hero Alan Lodge remembers visiting the poultry farm in the 1940s with his family from home in Hawthorn to buy eggs from Mrs Dwyer whose family ran the farm.  In those days, Blackburn was a nice Sunday drive from the inner suburbs.
  • The epoxy and pebble filling mix at the base of the trunk is a repair subsequent to vandals trying to set fire to it on a few occasions some years ago.
  • It is also interesting to note that the creek formerly meandered a lot closer to the Oak as it went right through the Bowls and the school car parks. The Oak therefore would have been almost on the creek bank.
  • If you want to tie a yellow ribbon around the ole oak tree, you’ll need about 4.3 metres, one metre above ground level!
  • Here is a shot of the tree in winter taken by our friend Ruth:

old oak in winter

  • Its canopy is the largest around the oval – shown in top centre of the Google Maps satellite photo below.  Notice that Kalang Oval has been home to a number of different sporting activities as well as cricket and junior football.  A long time user was the Nunawading Baseball Club :

baseball diamond

  • The photo clearly shows the baseball diamond embedded in the grass.  A grid-iron club lasted a few seasons but left no trace.  The cricket club, which recently changed its name to the Laburnum Cricket Club, is the longest user.  Their practice nets were originally down by the path near the creek but, as this is one of the wettest parts of the whole creeklands, it was no surprise when they were relocated closer to the Blackburn Bowls Club.
  • The Kalang Pavilion was originally built in 1965.  This was replaced by a modern $1.6 million dollar pavilion in 2015-2016.