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Who Will Give A Fig About The Fig Tree?

By Sarah Healey on November 10, 2014 in News

Photo: Daniel Hutton

Photo: Daniel Hutton

The almighty fig tree is an impressive piece of nature that adorns many streets in the Eastern Suburbs. While staggeringly beautiful, they can also be a pain in the proverbial – suffocating drainage systems, uplifting footpaths and roads, damaging the structural integrity of buildings, and bearing the fruit and associated bat populations that constantly decorating residents’ cars. Despite this, for the residents in Waratah Avenue, Randwick, the positives of their ficus population far outweigh the negatives, and many are up in arms over Council’s plans to remove one of their beloved trees.

Residents recently received a flyer from Council notifying them of its intention to remove one particular fig tree that is causing a significant amount of damage to one of the properties.

According to a Randwick Council spokesperson, “Randwick Council is planning to remove this tree due to the sustained and increasing damage being caused by tree roots to surrounding private and public property. Council has previously tried a number of tree management strategies, including significant root pruning, which have not been successful.”

However, concerned resident Nicholas Searle believes that Council has simply caved into one homeowner’s complaints, and will set a dangerous precedent if the planned removal goes ahead.

“At some stage you’ve got to say, ‘Listen, these tress are worth more than the occasional reparation. Council has already committed to fixing these pavements over many decades, so I just question what could possibly have changed to reverse its decision to put the trees first over one resident complaint. This sets a dangerous precedent for the further removal of trees,” Mr Searle said.

According to Randwick Council, the decision to remove the offending tree was not made lightly.

“Council only ever removes significant street trees when the damage caused by their aggressive root systems can no longer be contained or managed. Removal is always our last resort. The tree will be replaced with a suitable alternative,” a spokesperson said.

While Council is adamant that the offending tree must be felled, Mr Searle will not let the mighty fig meet its fate without a fight.

“We will do all we can to save this tree from demolition,” he said.

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