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Friday, September 18, 2020
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Historic Gregson Park fig tree saved

An historic 100-year-old Port Jackson fig tree in Gregson Park, Hamilton, will live to see another day.

It was facing the chop after a recent branch break, but City of Newcastle has developed a plan with expert arborists to protect the tree.

A cable system in the canopy of the tree will be installed in the coming weeks, while other works will include planting a small fence and garden underneath the tree’s drip line, turning it into a special feature piece.

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The initial pruning of the tree is set to start in the next few days.

The council will also plant a successional tree close by to ensure the continuity of tree canopy cover in the park in the decades to come.

Councillor Carol Duncan said it was crucial that the city’s natural heritage and historic flora and fauna were protected where possible.

“Gregson Park has a rich history as one of Newcastle’s most loved parks, with some trees dating back to the late 19th Century,” she said.

“Preserving Gregson Park’s trees is important because they not only hold sentimental value to us, they also provide habitat for native wildlife such as the threatened Grey-headed Flying Fox, which is the case with this tree.

“City of Newcastle is also excited about the opportunities that will come out of the Gregson Park Masterplan and is looking forward to putting it to the Newcastle community so that they can have their say on the future of the park.”

Councillor Carol Duncan and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at Gregson Park.

The park is a locally significant landscape heritage item with a strong sense of identity and has been a popular part of the city for well over a century.

City of Newcastle has a positive long-term vision for the space and is in the process of developing the Gregson Park Masterplan, which will be open for community input later this year.

It’s expected the work carried out for this historic fig will extend its life by an extra 20 years.

Work will be completed by the end of September.

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