Originally the name One Tree Hill applied to a single hill on which a huge gum tree stood, and it is believed that the One Tree Hill township's name was derived from this. The site that the original “One Tree” is thought to have once stood is opposite to that of the Old One Tree Hill Inn on Blacktop Road. It is believed that the tree was used as a survey point. The original tree was cut or burnt down some time at the end of the nineteenth century. At some stage the council planted a circle of five trees surrounding the old stump of the first “One Tree”.
In 1867 the One Tree Hill district was described as an agricultural and vine growing area. Dairy farmers and graziers were prominent throughout the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. With the subdivision of large properties for hobby farms in the second half of the twentieth century, cattle and sheep grazing was scaled down. There are now several well known horse studs in the area. Today suburban areas are developing close to the township.