For over 60 years, the Monterey Pine at the front of Walsh Street, has been an integral part of the iconic modernist home of the renowned Australian architect Robin Boyd. It has been a key focal point in the design and aspect of this historic, mid-century residence in Melbourne. With the combination of rapid urban development and its natural life cycle, the tree has reached the end of its life and presents a significant risk to people, the Walsh Street home and property, and neighbouring structures.
The tree was part of the original Victorian garden purchased by Boyd in 1957. Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, Boyd showcased the Monterey Pine in his front courtyard and unique roofline to demonstrate his desire to identify and incorporate natural and Australian elements in his very personal design of his family home. Today Walsh Street is an internationally recognised historic home used for design education, inspiration and community engagement.
Although Walsh Street is on the Victorian Heritage Register, and the Monterey/Radiata pine (pinus radiata) is on the City of Melbourne Significant Tree register, the Robin Boyd Foundation (RBF) had to raise major funds to remove and replace the tree, and restore the courtyard.
The Foundation also held a public talk with all the project partners to discuss how the tree in its final state was captured and recorded and how it was finally brought down in a safe manner despite its urban restrictions.
In the summer of 2020, the Robin Boyd Foundation raised funds to replace and restore Walsh Street’s important greenscape. We raised enough money and partnership to:
- remove the 20 metre 120+ year old Monterey tree, which is necessary to ensure protection of the Victorian Heritage Register historical place: Robin Boyd’s home at 290 Walsh Street
- ensure a tree replacement and management plan to include advanced specimen Canary Island Opine (Pinus canariensis), a very similar but non-weedy tree
- see more information about these works via this video:
We are still looking to raise funds for the restoration and reparation of the heritage listed Walsh Street courtyard.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping us with this unique, heritage project.
Tree Image: John Gollings
A Tree to Remember Supporters
The Robin Boyd Foundation is grateful to our many supporters helping us to honour the long life of this tree and continue Boyd’s legacy by donating to our Tree to Remember campaign.
Pam St Leger
Pui Yan Chiu