USyd Quad jacaranda replanted

The replacement is a genetic clone of the previous tree, which died late last year.

The new jacaranda.

The University has replanted its famous jacaranda tree in the Quadrangle alongside a native Illawarra flame tree.

The new jacaranda is one of two genetic clones made from the previous tree in 2014, when University grounds staff took cuttings of the tree to graft onto the bases of two genetically related trees.

The old jacaranda was found uprooted last October.

The trees were planted yesterday evening, and this morning the University held a ceremony attended by former Governor Marie Bashir, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes, NSW Member for Newtown Jenny Leong, and alumni and students to celebrate.

The ceremony included performances from the Jannawi Dance Clan, a Welcome to Country from Gadigal Elder Uncle Allen Madden, and speeches from Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson, Vice Chancellor Michael Spence and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Shane Houston.

Multiple speeches referenced the symbolism of pairing a native with imported tree, acknowledging the Gadigal land and the University’s international heritage.

The flame tree.
The flame tree.

Hutchinson also spoke about the first jacaranda’s history and the difficulty that University academic and horticulturalist Professor Eben Gowrie Waterhouse faced in planting it.

At least two attempts to plant a jacaranda at the site were foiled by students uprooting the saplings in the early 20th century.

The ceremony was concluded by an arrangement of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ performed by three Conservatorium students. The trees currently stand at around three metres tall. Guests were invited to take photos in front of an artistic rendering of how they will look in 10–15 years.

Artistic rendering of the jacaranda and flame tree in 10–15 years.
Artistic rendering of the jacaranda and flame tree in 10–15 years.

The University is hosting commemorative tours for students and alumni on Saturday, July 22.