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Monday, November 26, 2007

Flaxinus and Ginkgo Tracks - Olinda Forest

Fraxinus Track

Olinda Valley

The Flaxinus and Ginkgo Tracks are in the Arboretum, Olinda Forest, Dandenong Ranges National Park, 45 km east of Melbourne.

The Arboretum is about 120 hectares, in the Olinda Valley, with plantations of exotic trees from all over the world.

It was created in 1970, as a firebreak to protect the township of Olinda, following the terrible bushfires of 1963 which destroyed most of the Olinda Forest.

The plantings were made in the period 1970 to 1976.

There are many fire management tracks in the Arboretum, shared with walkers.

Some of the tracks are named after the plantations through which they pass.

The Ginkgo tree is commonly known as the Maidenhair Tree, growing to 30m tall, and some live to over 1000 years.

The Fraxinus tree is actually Fraxinus Pennsylvanica, also known as the Green Ash, growing to 25 m high, and 15 m wide.

I explored these tracks on November 25, 2007, about 4 km. I started and finished at the Valley Picnic Ground, following Yallambie Way to the Fraxinus and Ginkpo Tracks.

These tracks are quite steep in parts - the altitude change was from 322 m at the Picnic Ground to 503 m at the highest point!

The Arboretum is a wonderful garden, and can be appreciated at any time of the year. In spring and summer, vast fields of colorful wildflowers may be enjoyed. Parrots and kookaburras live there!

The photos are at Fraxinus Track

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