On Wednesday 24 May 2017, the Attorney-General for the ACT, Mr Gordon Ramsay MLA, joined His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, to plant a Toona ciliata (red cedar)in the Central Valley of the National Arboretum Canberra.
Toona ciliata, commonly called red cedar, is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree growing to about 60 metres in height with brown to grey scaly bark. Its trunk can reach 3 metres in girth.
The timber is red in colour, easy to work and very highly valued. It was used extensively for furniture, wood panelling and construction, including shipbuilding.
The red cedar is widely planted in subtropical and tropical parts of the world as a shade tree and for its fast-growing aspect.
Ceremonial trees planted from around the world
The National Arboretum Canberra is home to over 44,000 trees from more than one hundred nations. Many Australian and international leaders and public figures have planted ceremonial trees at the National Arboretum, including Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; His Excellency Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Republic of Timor-Leste; renowned Australian author, Mr Thomas Keneally and Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
Through ceremonial tree plantings and other special events, the National Arboretum Canberra builds partnerships with local, national and international organisations, individuals and communities to further its role in global tree conservation and research.