Com­mu­nity to com­ment on fig trees

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts

FRE­MAN­TLE res­i­dents will get a chance to com­ment on the fu­ture of two dis­tressed more­ton bay fig trees in Kings Square.

Kings Square project di­rec­tor Rus­sell King­dom said the City had been mon­i­tor­ing the more­ton bay figs in Kings Square and Fre­man­tle since 2008.

“More re­cent as­sess­ments have shown a rapid de­cline in health of two of the trees that were be­ing re­tained as part of the Kings Square pub­lic realm con­cept de­sign,” he said.

“The coun­cil will be seek­ing com­mu­nity feed­back soon to help de­cide on whether to keep these trees or re­place them with ma­ture, healthy trees.”

A re­port to the coun­cil said one of the un­well fig trees, which is 120 to 140 years old, was in sig­nif­i­cant de­cline, with dam­age done to the roots in the 1980s, and it had 80 to 90 per cent fo­liage loss.

The other tree had im­proved health un­til March 14, when the tree had a ‘limb fail­ure’ and a large branch fell to the foot­path be­low.

This fol­lows the tree re­lo­ca­tion which be­gan ear­lier this month, with a lon­don plane tree be­ing re­lo­cated else­where in the Square.

Mr King­dom said there were plenty of cu­ri­ous on­look­ers who were in­trigued by the process.

“The lon­don plane trees were care­fully pre­pared for around 12 months for this re­lo­ca­tion, which in­cluded the trimming of roots and ex­tra ir­ri­ga­tion,” he said.

“By mov­ing them in the cooler months and en­sur­ing they are given a good sup­ply of wa­ter, we’re con­fi­dent they’ll flour­ish in their new lo­ca­tions.

“Af­ter their re­lo­ca­tions, most trees in Kings Square will be far away enough from any build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­vent any dam­age.”

Any trees closer to de­mo­li­tion or con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will be man­aged with fenc­ing and ex­clu­sion zones.

The com­mu­nity will be able to com­ment on the busi­ness plan on My Say Freo web­site un­til July 5.

One of the un­well fig trees in Kings Square is re­ported to be be­tween 120 and 140 years old.

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