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The Wishing Tree story
The Wishing Tree is a very important tree in the Royal Botanic Garden. It’s a Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) with a very long history.
Way back in 1816 Mrs Macquarie, wife of Governor Macquarie, decided she wanted a Norfolk Island Pine planted in the Botanic Gardens. It was planted in a round garden bed on the eastern side of the Garden and became the tree where people made wishes.
In earlier times people believed that certain trees contained spirits and that you could make a wish by touching the trees or by walking around them three times forward then three times backward. This is how the idea of ‘wishing trees’ and the saying ‘touch wood’ originated.
The original Wishing Tree decayed with age and was removed in 1945. The first Wollemi Pine ever to be planted is now in the garden bed where the original Wishing Tree used to be, and there is now a second Wishing Tree planted in another round bed nearer the ponds. Unfortunately this one will never be as grand as the original because soon after it was planted its crown was damaged in a violent storm.
Make a wish
When you visit the Wishing Tree in the Royal Botanic Garden, be sure to make a wish. Follow these age-old instructions to help your wish come true.
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