Fig tree's future in question after being hit by truck

A PROFESSIONAL arborist will provide an expert opinion to the council on the future of a mature fig tree in Woongarra Street after it was struck and damaged by a truck earlier this week.

Environment and Natural Areas portfolio spokesman Cr Bill Trevor said a truck turning into one of the businesses located at the eastern end of Woongarra Street caused significant damage to the tree creating the possibility of limb collapse.

"This risk could be heightened if we experience wet or windy weather. The situation has been made worse with the damage extending beyond the limb with a significant split also identified in the trunk of the tree.

"These fig trees which have graced Woongarra Street for over a century have created quite a beautiful avenue effect and, as a consequence, the trees are listed on Council's Heritage Register.

"The proposed course of action is to initially remove a damaged limb which will provide a better opportunity for visual inspection of the split in the trunk.

"This will assist in determining what action will need to be taken regarding a second limb which most likely will require pruning if not full removal."

Cr Trevor said a Level 5 arborist was visiting the area in coming weeks and his opinion will be sought regarding the long term future of the tree.

"With the tree entered into Council's Heritage register we have an obligation to ensure an appropriate process in preserving the tree. If it cannot be saved one course of action would be the replanting of a reasonably mature Weeping Fig to replace it.

"However, we will await the results of the arborist's inspection," said Cr Trevor

"Local Landcare representative Michael Johnson has a significant interest in these and other local trees and I have discussed the mishap and possible scenarios relating to the tree with him."

Cr Trevor said council workers are expected to undertake remedial work to the tree tomorrow (Thursday) which may involve traffic management in the area.

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