The Friends of National Arboretum Canberra (FNAC) Wollemi Pine Propagation Project 2020 - 2023
The aim of this pilot project is to grow Wollemi pine trees from seed collected from the National Arboretum Canberra’s Wollemi Pine Forest 32 for sale under licence to the public to raise funds to support Arboretum projects and to continue the conservation of this rare and critically endangered species. The idea of the project came about following a brief involvement with the Wollemi Pine Seed Counting Project and Dr Roger Hnatiuk who has been measuring and monitoring the Wollemi growing at the Arboretum’s Forest 32 since 2007 when the trees were first planted. Ange McNeilly, a member of the Friends and the Harvest Group gained FNAC Council approval for the project in February 2020. As the Arboretum did not have the space or the security for this project to be conducted on site, the Yarralumla Nursery Canberra was contracted to grow the trees for the FNAC over a three-year period, with the first 30 trees to be ready for sale at the end of two years. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, the first 33 Wollemi were sold in Autumn 2022. Ange McNeilly undertakes quarterly inspection visits to the Yarralumla Nursery with Colette Mackay OAM and Dr Roger Hnatiuk who provide guidance and valuable scientific information. Regular updates keep the FNAC Council abreast of tree growth and developments. The project’s robust and healthy Wollemi Pines are only available from the Friends’ website. The trees have been grown locally and each very special Wollemi can be traced back to a specific tree in the Arboretum’s Wollemi Forest 32. Proceeds from the sale of the trees go towards supporting Canberra’s iconic Arboretum.
Ange McNeilly visiting in March 2022
Licence Number PL20222 dated 23 February 2022 issued under Section 273 of the Nature Conservation Act 2014 to the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra
Wollemi in forest tubes
Dr Roger Hnatiuk inspecting the Wollemi
Wollemi Pines
The Wollemi is native to a temperate rainforest area of Wollemi National Park near Sydney New South Wales.

First discovered by David Noble in 1994, theWollemia nobilis belongs to the Araucariaceae family. The discovery of the ancient rainforest tree from the time of Gondwana caused a global sensation and this ‘living fossil’ has outlived the dinosaurs. Fossil remains indicate it was once widespread in Gondwana, excluding Africa.

It is now a critically endangered species, with only 46 adult trees remaining in the wild.
Wollemi pine seed sorting and counting
Wollemi pine in Forest 32, National Arboretum Canberra
Tree No.
Accession No.
Date Seed Collected
Date Seed Sown
Forest 32 seed source trees, dates collected and sown chart
Seasonal Care for Your Wollemi Pine
Spring (September – November)
• Grow in a pot or in the ground in a sunny or a part-shaded position • Wollemi prefer acidic soil which should be a premium quality well-draining potting mix with a pH 4-6 • Tolerates a seasonal temperature range of -10C to 35C but grows well in the range 10-25C • Apply a controlled release complete fertiliser at rates recommended by the manufacturer • Early spring is a good time to repot Wollemi as warmer weather and fertiliser may result in a growth spurt of the main stem • Side branches will unfold from the new growth on the main stem • New growth may have a pink-bronze tinge • Repot to a maximum of two pot sizes larger every 2-3 years and root prune if necessary

Summer (December – February)
• Check soil moisture regularly • Oozing sticky white sap on the main stem indicates where new buds will burst through the bark • The elongated leaf stems will flush with new apple green growth contrasting with the older dark green foliage and will harden to turn dark green over time • Mature trees over seven years may develop male and female cones on the tips of branches • Decorate and celebrate your ‘living fossil’ as an iconic Australian Christmas tree!

Autumn (March - May)
• Foliage will harden and minimal growth will occur • In cooler weather at the end of this season, transplant potted plants into the ground while still warm and moist • Polar caps may start to develop on the tip of the main stem and then on all growing tips to protect against cooler weather Winter (June - August)

Winter (June – August)
• Reduce watering • Foliage is harder in winter months so prune if/as necessary • Protect from frost and cold winds particularly in the first winter
Scan the QR Code, or click on the button below to check the provenance of your Wollemi Pine