Ti Tree is a small settlement on the Stuart Highway between Aileron and Wycliffe Well, 193 km north of Alice Springs and 310 km south of Tennant Creek. The township includes a school, roadhouse/wayside inn, general store and police station. The Ti Tree area has a population of around 1000 with a large percentage Aboriginal people. There are 11 cattle stations, 6 Aboriginal outstation communities and produce farms in the district.
The Ti Tree settlement had its beginnings as a well dug during construction of the overland telegraph line and was known for its high quality water. Ti Tree is built on a large aquifer. Just down the road are the market gardens and vineyards with table grapes, fruit and melons. With plentiful water, bright sunshine and no frosts, the fruit is ready for market before many other areas.
The local Aboriginal people are the Anmatyerr and include Nturiya (Old Ti Tree Station), Pmara Jutunta (6 Mile), Willowra, Laramba (Napperby Station), Alyuen and Ti Tree. Much of the area around Ti Tree township is now within the bounds of the Ahakeye Land Trust, Aboriginal Freehold Lease.
Ti Tree is near Central Mount Stuart where John McDouall Stuart, the first European to Central Australia, planted the flag in 1860. He considered the mount was in the centre of Australia. Now there are three centres of Australia – another near Kulgera and one at Erldunda – measured by computer analyses of high points around Australia.
In 1921 a homestead was built for the Ti Tree Station. The homestead was later relocated.
With gold discoveries at Tennant Creek in the 1930s, the road became busier. The Hese family built a rough bough store at Ti Tree in 1935. It was well stocked with groceries and hardware as well as items such as bolts of material and lollies. They built an underground dining room and accommodation for travellers.
During the war years, the convoys brought brisk trade. The store closed after the war.