Fig tree health threat

The famous Morton Bay fig at the Fig Tree Hotel has seen better days, with entire branches of the tree looking to be dying or dead.

While there has certainly been a fair amount of talk about the town regarding the state of the tree, there are steps being taken to ensure its health into the future.

“We are aware the tree is in poor health,” said Council Deputy General Manager Infrastructure Julian Geddes.

“It’s on private property, but it’s of significance to the community. So Council – at our own expense – engaged an arborist at the consent of the owners,’ Mr Geddes said.

“The arborist tested it for any poison, and it came back negative for herbicide. We can’t rule it out entirely, but at this point it’s a negative result.

“There’s been lopping of branches and of fairly significant roots.

“It’s also a very old tree, and it might just be more susceptible to pruning or environmental factors.

“It would appear that the heavy lopping might have been a factor.”

Mr Geddes said the present approach was to wait and see.

“Right now we’re taking the advice of the arborist to monitor the tree until the end of the year.

“The tree is very susceptible to sunburn, so there’s no point lopping dead branches or anything like that coming into the warmer months.

“We’ll monitor it, and work with the owner. If there’s any assistance Council can provide we’ll certainly try to help.

“Our intention is to work with the owner. We want to work proactively,” Mr Geddes said.

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