Old tree moving to public park
For decades, what could be one of the biggest boab trees in Karratha has sat tucked away in the backyard of a Peg’s Creek home, but from this week it will take on a new role as a local public attraction.
This Friday, the tree — measuring about 8m high and 1m wide and belonging to a species more common in the Kimberley than the Pilbara — will be dug up and moved by crane to a new park on the corner of Baynton West’s Balyarra Parkway and Bajamalu Drive, where it will become the feature installation in the centre of its new asphalt pump track.
Boab owner Karen Mathews, who has lived on the property for two years, said the tree was unique and one of the reasons why her family had bought the house.
“I’d say whoever lived here originally would have planted it there,” she said.
“This house was built in the early 70s, so you’re probably getting at 35-40 years old.
“And it definitely would have been here when they renovated all this land to build (new Karratha suburbs).” The Balyarra Parkway park and its sister park on Rothschild Loop are an initiative of LandCorp, whose staff have spent several months preparing the boab for the move, and have called in Perth tree specialist, the Arbor Centre, to assist.
Also being installed there are three large poincianas and a mahogany tree.
LandCorp West Pilbara regional manager Travis McNaught said mature trees were being installed at the parks for shade.
“With plants in Karratha, shade is so important, and if you can put in 40-year-old trees that are large, then you have that shade from day one and they look spectacular,” he said.
He said while this boab was not so old compared to many of its species in the Pilbara, it stood out for its age.
“The boab that was relocated to King’s Park was 750 years old so this one’s only a baby in boab terms,” he said.
“They’re the oldest trees you’re going to get in Karratha, considering we’re a relatively new city.”
The new park trees are being removed by local company Joyce Krane this week, with the boab to be moved on Friday.
Jayce Lee Farrell, 3, and Justin Seery, 6, with the large boab tree.