Big boab

Old tree mov­ing to pub­lic park

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Jayce Lee Far­rell, 3, and Justin Seery, 6, with the large boab tree.

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