MEASURING UP: Derek McIntosh, who is with the National Register of Big Trees, admires Roma's biggest bottle tree.
MEASURING UP: Derek McIntosh, who is with the National Register of Big Trees, admires Roma's biggest bottle tree. Rory Hession

Roma tree measures up on the national register

TREE enthusiast Derek McIntosh travelled hundreds of kilometres to see Roma's biggest bottle tree.

When he arrived however, things didn't quite measure up.

"The tree is actually wider and higher than it is recorded,” he said.

"It is recorded as 6m tall but after measuring it the tree is actually 13m tall.”

Mr McIntosh visited Roma as part of a tour of Queensland measuring and recording the state's biggest trees.

He started the National Register of Big Trees nine years ago after discovering a similar system in America.

"In my 30s I made a trip overseas and saw their register and thought how amazing it would be to bring such a system to Australia,” he said.

Since that time he has travelled around Australia finding the biggest champion trees in every state and recording them in the register

"Most or many of these trees were never recorded in an Australian register,” he said.

"By travelling around Australia I have found the biggest trees in a certain species in Australia, many of which are in people's back yards.”

This passion for trees lead Mr McIntosh to Roma to see the town's largest bottle tree.

"I had to see it, any excuse to see a champion would have me in the car in moments,” he said.

"It's astonishing, I have never seen anything like this, and so healthy as well.”

Mr McIntosh said compared to other trees he had seen, measuring the bottle tree was no easy task.

"Its quite a walk around the tree to measure it, I don't think I have ever said that about a tree before,” he said.

Mr McIntosh's love of tree's lies in his DNA.

"My father loved trees and so from that time I developed the same want to see and learn about them,” he said.

"There is something about discovering the biggest tree that has always had our hearts going.”


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