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   Issue 13 of Wollemi Watch
>> Newsflash: Win tickets to Walking with Dinosaurs
>> Wollemi Packaging awarded for sustainability
>> Behind the Scenes: David van Berkel
>> Water Wise Garden Competition: Win a Wollemi
>> Join the UN Billion Trees Campaign
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Welcome to Issue 13 of the Wollemi Watch, a quarterly newsletter for Wollemi Pine enthusiasts everywhere.

In this issue, we showcase some exciting initiatives in Australia such as the Walking with Dinosaurs promotion where we are giving away tickets to the World Premiere of a live show featuring fifteen life sized dinosaurs.  A Water Wise Garden competition is also underway with Wollemi Pines as prizes. We profile David Van Berkel, the man behind the Wollemi Pine online/mail order service, who will be busy delivering Wollemi Pines to homes across Australia this Christmas.  As recognition of our work with the Wollemi Pine packaging we announce our National Packaging Council Award in the Sustainability Category.  To inspire tree planting in 2007 we report on the Unite Nation's “Billion Trees Campaign” which is inviting pledges from around the world for tree plantings.  Finally, thank you to all our valued readers of Wollemi Watch – we wish you a happy holiday season!
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Win tickets to “Walking  with Dinosaurs” this Christmas Win tickets to “Walking with Dinosaurs” this Christmas

This Christmas will be the first year Australians will be able to gift Wollemi Pines and enjoy them as a unique living Christmas Tree. To celebrate, all purchases of Wollemi Pines online and at selected stockists will be eligible to enter the draw to win tickets to the World Premiere of Walking with Dinosaurs – The Live Experience.

Walking with Dinosaurs is based on an award winning BBC television series and features fifteen life sized dinosaurs – including that terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus-Rex.

There are five double passes (1 adult and 1 child) to be won for shows in either:
Sydney: 10-17 January 2007,
Brisbane: 26-30 January 2007,
Perth: 14-18 February 2007,
Adelaide: 1-4 March 2007 or
Melbourne: 23-28 March 2007.

Order and enter the draw now!link
Find your local Wollemi Pine stockist in Australialink

The Wollemi Pine is a unique, lasting and memorable gift for someone who has it all. Give your friends and family the opportunity to be a part of the most exciting comeback in natural history and have one of the oldest and rarest plants in the world.

The Wollemi Pine is a great addition to any home or garden and is a versatile plant that can be used as a stunning landscape tree or maintained in a pot.  It will survive all environments in Australia and is low maintenance and waterwise.
Find out more about caring for this living fossillink

If you are located outside Australia:
Check out your country’s availabilitylink
Wollemi Packaging Awarded for Sustainability Wollemi Packaging Awarded for Sustainabilityy
The packaging of the Wollemi Pine in Australia has been awarded the highest industry accolade for its sustainability.  The Packaging Council of Australia’s national packaging awards were announced in October with the Wollemi Pine receiving the top award in the Sustainability Category.

The winning entry was to demonstrate a significant advance in environmental considerations and provide a benchmark for the industry.  The award was sponsored by the EPA in Victoria and reflects the desire for packaging for a greener future.

“The Australian Packaging Awards can be seen as a barometer for the Australian packaging industry highlighting innovation, sustainability and quite simply – great ideas” says Mike McKinstry, president of the Packaging Council of Australia.

Wollemi Australia’s vision for the Wollemi Pine product was to ensure all associated packaging and presentation materials supported the conservation message of the Pine by being environmentally friendly.  They also needed to reflect the premium positioning of the product, highlight its value as a unique gift and perform the functional role of protecting the Pine in transit.

The uniqueness, rarity, novelty and conservation value of the Wollemi Pine allows the product to succeed outside traditional plant markets with gift markets and online sales having a significant impact on demand. The packaging of this ancient species needed to be adaptable for both the retail environment and online sales.

In a retail environment, all Conservation Collection Wollemi Pines (150mm pot size/40cm high and 200mm pot size/60cm high) are supplied in a specially designed bio-degradable pot and come with a care booklet, Certificate of Authenticity, attractive sleeve and label.

The same plants sold online or via phone, fax or mail order are shipped in specially designed cartons to ensure the plant is not damaged during transport and gives the consumer an exciting unveiling experience on receiving their plant.

Wollemi Australia is leading the way in the ornamental horticultural industry in Australia and internationally by demonstrating how environmentally responsible materials can be used to enhance presentation, protect the product and value add to the Wollemi Pine.

See the Wollemi Pine entry nowlink
Behind the Scenes: David van Berkel Behind the Scenes: David van Berkel

David van Berkel is the man behind Garden Express - Australia’s largest online and mail order nursery, responsible for delivering the Wollemi Pine direct to homes across Australia.

How did you get into the plant mail order/online business?
"The Van Berkel family has been a part of the gardening industry since arriving in Australia in the early 1950’s. Initially flower growers and bulb producers, the family company soon moved into packaging and distribution of bulbs and plants.  Since rebranding 5 years ago under the banner of Garden Express, the business is now Australia’s largest online and mail order nursery, offering over 2000 garden products through 5 colour catalogues. The business also operates call centres and fulfilment of orders for some magazines and other media retailing activities."

What are the benefits of buying plants via mail order/online?
"The mail order business is such a unique vehicle for trading in the garden industry. Range is the number one advantage of mail order.  We can offer the most unique products that are only available in small quantities, giving a point of difference for consumers. Cost efficient Australia-wide service is another key advantage."

What was your first reaction when you were appointed as the mail/online distributor of the Wollemi Pine?
"Learning that we had been offered the distribution of the Wollemi Pine through online sales was simply exciting. The availability of the Wollemi Pine is an unprecedented opportunity for the world to embrace the prehistoric era into our own homes. Let’s face it, short of having a crocodile as a pet, we are never going to be able to attach ourselves so closely to the past. The Wollemi Pine is not just a tree, it’s a moment in time, it’s a chance find that could have easily been overlooked, its having a plant that inspires emotion, conversation and enjoyment.

The reputation of the pine that has been building over the 10 years certainly adds credibility to those nurseries who have become retailers of the trees, simply because there is acknowledgment in the community about the rarity and story of the plant."

What type of people purchase the Wollemi Pine online or via mail order?
"There are many great stories of people buying Wollemi Pines for special occasions and gifts. They are especially popular as wedding and birthday gifts.  Recently a school purchased four of the large 430mm trees to celebrate an MP visiting the school and the MP was involved in the planting. A lovely man in Brisbane purchased one for his son in Victoria who was celebrating his first Father’s Day.  I also recall selling two plants to a couple at a garden show who walked up to our display and said `is this the Wollemi Pine that we have heard so much about' and within 30 seconds they had purchased two large trees and wandered off together simply amazed that they finally had them, still chatting excitedly about their purchase .. `oh I just can’t believe we found them'."

Any final comments?
"At Garden Express we see the Wollemi Pine as a perfect fit with our mail order/online business. It represents the anticipation of receiving something that you have been waiting for (and the world has waited for this tree) and it is much more than just a plant - it’s a quality purchase.  A Wollemi Pine delivers nothing short of the WOW factor. That’s what we like to achieve at Garden Express."

Garden Express offers 5 seasonal full colour catalogues a year, call 1800 677 437 for a free subscription or visit the web site to register for catalogues, email specials, and even fundraising.  Van Berkel Distributors offer wholesale bulbs, plants and potted colour as well as contract packaging and distribution of nursery products.
Visit the Garden Express web sitelink
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Win a Wollemi in the Water Wise Garden Competition Australians: Win a Wollemi in the Water Wise Garden Competition

Australian’s share your ideas for a “Water Wise Garden” for your chance to win a 200mm Wollemi Pine (valued at $114.90, inc. delivery in Australia). Get your entries in quick as they close on 15 December 2006.
View guidelines for the competition and download an entry formlink

Wollemi Australia joined forces with the Australian Water Association (AWA) and the NGIA to promote National Water Week (NWW) which was held in October.  NWW is designed to encourage Australians to "Protect, Conserve and Get Involved" in water-related activities and celebrations around the country.

The Wollemi Pine is a waterwise, low maintenance plant. If grown in a container, it requires watering about once a week as soon as the top 5 cm of the potting mix becomes dry.  Once established in the ground, it should not require watering except in extreme drought conditions.

Entries for the competition close on 15 December 2006.

Please send entries to:
Australian Water Association
PO Box 388
Artarmon NSW 1570

Fax to: 02 9413 1047.

For more information regarding the competition:
Contact Peter Dutton on 1800 615 536
Visit the National Water Week web sitelink
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Join the Billion Tree Campaign Join the Billion Tree Campaign

Take part in the world’s biggest tree planting event! The Billion Tree Campaign organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) aims to plant at least one billion trees worldwide throughout 2007. Everyone is encouraged to help in the planting and enter their pledge on the website.

See the pledges made from your country
Make your own pledge and be a part of this global campaign

All participants will receive a certificate of involvement in the campaign and are encouraged to follow up on the progress of their tree by the web site and share photos and experiences.  Advice on tree planting is also available online.
Information on how to plant a Wollemi Pine for this special occasion visit link
Visit the Wollemi Pine Care Information pagelink

The idea for the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai who is also the founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in 12 African countries since 1977.

The Prince of Monaco, Albert II, is a great supporter of the campaign and the Wollemi Pine, with one being planted earlier this year in Monaco. “I believe in the symbolic strength of the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign and I sincerely hope it will meet our expectations, far beyond the welfare linked to replanting trees, to benefit future generations” says Prince Albert II.

So, get out your gardening gloves and get ready to plant trees for the planet!

Want to experience the Wollemi Wilderness?
Download your own Wollemi wallpaper link

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Photos: Per Ericson, Australian Water Association, Walking with Dinosaurs, Garden Express, United Nations Environment Program
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