The mixed avenue of evergreen trees along the main pedestrian steps to the oval includes a large Maiden’s Gum (Eucalyptus globulus subsp. maidenii). The single species grouping of three Outeniqua Yellow-wood (Afrocarpus falcatus) near the workshop building contains some very large specimens. The significance and integrity of this group however has been compromised by past unsympathetic crown pruning.
The two groups of Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla), located near the Carillon Avenue boundary, contain a number of individual specimens of outstanding scale and proportions (varying between 18-22 metres in height and up to 25 metres in individual canopy spread). One specimen has massive buttressing and aerial roots extending over an area of 10 metres in diameter. All of these Moreton Bay Figs, a Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) and Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii), (22 metres in height) located within this group, are likely to date from the earliest period of development. The overall integrity of much of this historic collection indicates the need for further research and investigation.
The grounds of the University of Sydney contain an exceptional collection of significant trees, many of which are important elements in association with heritage listed buildings and road precincts. A number of places and items are scheduled on the Register of the National Estate, the State Heritage Register, City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 and classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). At a group level, the significant trees within the University are considered to be one of the City of Sydney’s more important collections in terms of the special combination of aesthetic, scientific, botanic, historic, social and commemorative values.
Many of these trees are of exceptional value, creating landscapes of high visual and aesthetic quality and a unique sense of place. The University’s significant trees are typically associated with the curtilage of historic buildings, building facades, boundaries to colleges and along the campus boundaries, ovals and sportsgrounds, internal roadways and pedestrian walkways, courtyards and a broad range of ancillary spaces. These trees tell the stories and aspirations of people. They also provide historic markers in the landscape, describing the way the campus developed over time and its close links with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Victoria Park (refer to other listings in this Register).
St Andrew’s College, built in 1867 and listed on the Register of the National Estate, contains a significant collection of trees dating from the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1892-1893, to accommodate the training of candidates for the Presbyterian ministry, an additional two storey wing at right angles to the main tower was constructed to the design of John Sulman. In the period before World War I, student numbers rose rapidly with some resident tutors, and a new stone wing (now known as Vaucluse) was added parallel to the Sulman Wing in 1913-1914. By the 1950’s there were 150 students in residence, so two modern brick buildings were constructed in front of the main building, Reid in 1953 and Thyne in 1966. The College now has accommodation for 200 undergraduate male students, three resident Fellows and up to a dozen postgraduate students and fluctuating number of academic visitors.
Aerial photos of the site from 1943 indicate numerous mature trees, particularly in the pathway leading from the main College building to the north-east and the main Sydney University campus. This would indicate many of the trees associated with this pathway date from the early 1900’s and perhaps even earlier. Subsequent overlays have occurred with the 1950’s and 1960’s additions to the College.