Lone Pine (tree)

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Lone Pine at Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli

The Lone Pine was a solitary tree on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which marked the site of the Battle of Lone Pine in 1915. Pines which are planted as a memorial to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in Gallipoli are also known as "Lone Pines" or "Gallipoli Pines", referencing the original tree.

The original "Lone Pine"[edit]

The original "Lone Pine" was a sole survivor of a group of trees that had been cut down by Turkish soldiers who had used the timber and branches to cover their trenches during the battle.[1] The tree was obliterated during the battle; however, pine cones that had remained attached to the cut branches over the trenches were retrieved by two Australian soldiers and brought home to Australia.[2][3] The resultant seedlings were found to be Turkish pines, sometimes regarded as a subspecies of Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine), but usually classified as a distinct species, Pinus brutia.[4]

Tree at Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli[edit]

At the Lone Pine Cemetery on the Gallipoli peninsula, a solitary pine was planted in the 1920s to symbolise the original Lone Pine. This tree was inspected in 1987 by an Australian botanist and confirmed to be a stone pine (Pinus pinea).[1] Coordinates: 40°13′49.48″N 26°17′14.74″E / 40.2304111°N 26.2874278°E / 40.2304111; 26.2874278

Trees in Australia[edit]

Lone Pine at Wattle Park
Lone Pine at the Australian War Memorial
Two Lone Pine seedlings at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, Australia, presented by the RSL on Remembrance Day, 11 November 1987.

Keith McDowell, an Australian soldier of the 23rd Battalion who fought at Gallipoli, brought a pine cone from the battle site home to Australia.[5] Many years later seeds from the cone were planted by his wife's aunt Emma Gray of Grassmere, near Warrnambool, Victoria and five seedlings emerged, with four surviving. These seedlings were planted in four different locations in Victoria: Wattle Park (May 8, 1933), the Shrine of Remembrance (June 11, 1933), the Soldiers Memorial Hall at The Sisters near Terang (June 18, 1933) and Warrnambool Botanic Gardens (January 23, 1934).[2]

The tree at the Shrine Reserve was planted near the north-east corner of the building by Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Savige, founder of Melbourne Legacy at a formal ceremony.[6] In 2005 the tree required cable bracing following the loss of a major limb and in 2012, despite measures taken to try to save the tree from the effects of disease caused by the fungus Diplodia pinea, it was removed in August.[7][8] A "grandchild tree" was planted nearby in 2006.[8] A Middle Park man, Andrew Lees, collected cones from the broken limb in 2005 and by 2015 had managed to germinate about 20 seedlings.[9]

Another soldier, Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith from the 3rd Battalion, also retrieved a cone from the battle site and sent it back to his mother (Mrs McMullen) in Australia, who had lost another son at the battle. Seeds from the cone were planted by Mrs McMullen in 1928, from which two seedlings were raised.[3] One was presented to her home town of Inverell, New South Wales and the other was forwarded to Canberra where it was planted by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in October 1934.[3] The AWM lone pine lost two of its large lower limbs from strong winds preceding a thunderstorm on 27 December 2008, although tree surgeons were brought in to save the historic tree.[10][11]

Both Melbourne Legacy and the Yarralumla Nursery in Canberra have raised and grown seedlings over a number of years, sourced from the tree at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian War Memorial respectively, which they have presented to schools as well as ex-service and other organisations throughout Australia.[12]

According to plaques at its base, this pine tree at the Oatley Park Avenue entrance to Oatley Park, NSW, was grown from pine cones taken from Lone Pine, Gallipoli.

According to plaques at its base, the pine tree at the Oatley Park Avenue entrance to Oatley Park in NSW was planted in 1920 by Owen Jones Davies from pine cones obtained from Lone Pine, Gallipoli.

Trees in New Zealand[edit]

In Auckland, two trees identified as "Lone Pines" have been planted. One is a Pinus canariensis planted at Waikumete cemetery in 1961 and another is a Pinus radiata at Auckland War Memorial Museum, planted on Anzac Day in 1950.[12] A tree identified as "The Anzac Pine" stands on Te Mata Peak at Havelock North in Hawkes Bay. Although a specimen of Pinus brutia was originally planted, the current tree is identified as the species Pinus radiata.[12] Two specimens of Pinus halepensis, planted in 1951, are located at the Lone Pine Memorial at the cemetery in Taradale, and further specimens are located at King Edward Park in Stratford and Queens Park in Wanganui.[12] There is a "Lone Pine" at the Paeroa golf course, at the ladies tee, on the second hole. This tree appears to be New Zealand's only authentic Pinus brutia that can be traced back to the original pines, according to "Excerpts from NZ Journal of Forestry, May 2007". Also, in Victoria Park, Christchurch, there is a plaque which claims that the nearby pine tree was grown from a seedling of the Gallipoli Lone Pine.


  1. ^ a b "Champion Trees in Commonwealth War Cemeteries" (PDF). Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Gallipoli "Lone Pine" lives on" (PDF). Legacy. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Lone Pine Tree". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Spencer, R.D. (1995) Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia 1: 248-249 (University of NSW Press).
  5. ^ "The Shrine Reserve". Shrine of Remembrance Education Program: Background Information (PDF). Shrine of Remembrance. pp. 8–10. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Lone Pine – Shrine Reserve". City of Melbourne. Archived from the original on September 16, 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Smethurst, Annika (24 August 2012). "Melbourne's Lone Pine tree, planted with seeds from Gallipoli Peninsula, has been cut down". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Smith, Bridie (22 June 2012). "Shrine's Lone Pine facing battle to death with attacking fungus". The Age. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "No need to pine for a chip off the old block". The Weekly Review Bayside. 9 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Dodd, Mark (2008-12-29). "Living war memorial at risk". News Limited. The Australian. Retrieved 2009-01-11. [dead link]
  11. ^ Lane, Sabra (2008-12-30). "Australian War Memorial's Lone Pine will survive". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. AM. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  12. ^ a b c d Wilcox, Mike; Spencer David (May 2007). "Stand up for the real Anzac Lone Pine Of Gallipoli" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Forestry: 3–9. Retrieved 29 March 2012.