|One of the greatest
attractions for children is situated in the Fitzroy Gardens - Ola Cohn's
Fairies Tree, comprising a series of lovely carvings on the stump of one
of the original Red Gum trees in the Fitzroy Gardens, well over 300
years in age.
From 1931 to May 1934 - Victoria's Centenary Year - Miss Cohn worked on the delightful likenesses of fairies, dwarfs, gnomes, a marvelous jackass, koalas, flying foxes and a host of typical Australian animals and birds. She used all the natural irregularities and curves to transform the tree trunk into a thing of beauty.
Her intentions are best described in the foreword to her book, "The Fairies Tree", inscribed on the tree's plaque :
The carvings were done years after the death of the tree and so the problem of the trunk's preservation presented a problem. In 1977, the trunk was extracted from the ground for chemical treatment and the removal of rotted wood, and during the process, a mummified brush tail possum over 40 years old was found perfectly preserved within the trunk. The tree was remounted on a concrete base to prolong its life.