Midland’s Magnificent Oak
Back in 1961, the Tree Society published a short piece in The Swan Express, asking if anyone knew the age or anything about the history of what the Society described then as “The magnificent oak tree in the grounds of the Midland Junction Railway Station … it is one of the finest specimens of its kind in the metropolitan area”. Whether any responses were received is not known, but much has changed in the vicinity of the ‘magnificent oak’ in the 57 years since then, notably the casual demolition of the Midland Junction Railway Station in 1968. However, the old tree still stands by Railway Parade, neglected but measuring over five metres around its gnarly girth and spreading verdant spring shade under the hot sun. There is a lot of advice online about how to measure the age of an oak tree without cutting it down, but none seem suited to the environmental conditions of the Swan coastal plain. Next time you visit Midland, take some time to hunt out this vital and still magnificent old oak tree, and ponder the art of reading a living historical document.