Ancient Tree from prehistory comes to Ventura

Thought to be extinct tree is now in Plaza Park.

A rare and ancient tree species surviving the age of the dinosaurs and thought to be extinct, is about to become to be a part of Ventura’s conservation efforts. Donated by the Ventura Botanical Gardens to the City of Ventura, the Wollemi Nobilis pine will be placed among the plants and trees of Plaza Park.

Prior to its rediscovery in 1994, the Wollemi Nobilis was only known through fossils. Bushwalker and park ranger David Noble found the Wollemi pine in the wild, million-acre canyons of Wollemi National Park near Sydney, Australia.

As part of their global conservation efforts to save and revitalize the tree, National Geographic wrote, “this miraculous time traveler is one of the greatest living fossils discovered in the twentieth century.” 

This is the equivalent of finding a small dinosaur alive on earth,” penned the Kenneth Hill, Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney.

Now, through the efforts of the Ventura Botanical Gardens, Rotary, the City of Ventura, and Emi Tahira, this tree will grace one of Ventura’s earliest parks, Plaza Park.

Originally, the plantings at Plaza Park were representative of the Victorian age of exploration. They included large landscape tree species that originated from the Pacific Rim. A few, like the Morton Bay Fig and Araucaria species, are still standing.

The Wollemi pine fits perfectly within the original botanical concept of this park,” states Nancy O’Connor, City of Ventura Parks and Recreation. “We are excited about the inclusion in these important conservation efforts.”

Plant conservation efforts that are global in scope are critically important,” responds Joe Cahill, Executive Director of the Ventura Botanical Gardens. “Working with other botanic gardens and partner organizations across the world, we can amass exponentially more knowledge and dramatically decrease the likelihood of extinction. It is incredibly exciting for Ventura to support conservation efforts like this.”

Working in partnership with the donor, the Ventura Botanical Gardens, and the City of Ventura, to bring this rare species to grace Ventura, has been a wonderful experience,” said Bruce McGee of Rotary. “The three Ventura Rotary Clubs are proud to be a part of this.”

Ventura Botanical Gardens is located at Grant Park in the City of Ventura, their goals include conservation efforts and encouraging visitors to strengthen their connection to nature. For further information about this tree or the donation, contact [email protected]. To find out more, visit and join us on Facebook.

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