Students breath new life into pine

John Perkins (grandfather of student Lee Perkins) plants the schools new Wollemi pine with help from Zoe Heinritz (left), Emily Entwistle and other students.

Students from Eltham Public School will be spending time at school over the Christmas holidays watering their precious Wollemi pine tree.

The school was one of only five in the area to be given one of the ancient conifers by the Lismore Lions Club, and to be doubly sure their little piece of history doesnt die during the holidays, the students have drawn up a special watering roster.

Up until recently the Wollemi pine was thought to be extinct until a chance discovery by bush walkers in the Blue Mountains. Since then a special foundation has been set up to grow saplings and sell them world-wide in the hope that they will once again flourish.

As soon as the students heard the word prehistoric they were interested, said Eltham Public School teacher Rebecca Harris of the students excitement over the pine. They really caught onto the fact that this tree is something very special and thats why they are so keen to look after it.

The tree was planted by the students and Lions Club member John Perkins. The school was also presented with a plaque to commemorate the ceremony, along with a book detailing the discovery and history of the tree and how to look after it.

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