Taradale Cemetery Lone Pine memorial

Taradale Cemetery Lone Pine memorial

Inscription on memorial

Lone Pine memorial within the Taradale Cemetery, 2010.

New Zealand's first 'Lone Pine' (descendant of the famous Gallipoli 'lonesome pine' on Lone Pine Ridge) was planted in the Park Island Cemetery, near Napier, on 12 November 1950. The following year (or perhaps the year after) another 'lone pine' seedling was planted in the Returned Soldiers' section of the nearby Taradale cemetery.

The first tree, it seems, has since disappeared. The second, however, survives to the present day, and an impressive  memorial was erected at the site in 1999 (although the RSA plaque on the memorial is dated March 1998). At which time another 'lone pine' seedling was planted.

Both the Taradale lone pines are Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis). However, recent research by botanists Mike Wilcox and David Spencer has established that the original lone pine at Gallipoli was almost certainly a Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia), and that the only Pinus brutia 'lone pine' planted in New Zealand prior to 2009 was one on the Paeroa golf course. In 2015 a number of seedlings grown from seeds collected from the Paeroa tree at the Rotorua headquarters of Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute) were distributed around the country as living memorials (Lone Pine memorials project).

Sources: 'Hastings' Gallipoli Pine', Northern Advocate, 30/4/1949, p. 4; 'News of the day', Gisborne Herald, 2/11/1950, p. 6; 'Historic tree interest on the increase', Daily Telegraph, 9/9/1997; Mike Wilcox and David Spencer, 'Stand up the real Anzac Lone Pine of Gallipoli', New Zealand Journal of Forestry, vol. 52, no. 1, May 2007, pp. 3-9; 'Lone Gallipoli pines to live on in Anzac tribute', Stuff National, 22/4/2015.

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