A PLAQUE marking 80 years since the planting of an historic English ash plantation of more than 21,000 trees was yesterday unveiled at Hollybank Forest Reserve.
The plantation was an attempt to provide wood for the Alexander Patent Racquet Company in Launceston.
Launceston historian and author - and relative of founding director of Alexander Patent Tennis Company S.B. Hopwood - Gus Green said the plantation was not as successful as the company might have hoped.
"It was a complete failure," Mr Green said.
Alexander Patent Racquet Company was forced to continue to import its wood after Hollybank's soil proved too acidic for the trees to flourish.
Still, the plantation was the first English ash plantation in Australia.
The species was chosen because of the usefulness it had shown in the production of carriage handles, which were also laminated.
"Ash turned out to be the best for lightness and strength," Mr Green said.
Mr Green revealed the plaque and presented Forestry manager for Bass Peter Bird and Forestry community liaison officer for Bass Tony Scott with wood from one of the remaining trees.
The rest of the wood was used to make a cabinet and trophies at the former Newstead site of the Alexander factory, now the Police and Citizens Youth Club.