23.4 C
Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Brief reprieve for Chinderah fig

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Meet local firies and save lives, including your own

Meeting local firefighters and learning about home fire prevention is really important and more so in recent times and into the future.

On-farm restaurant’s sustainable vision

Frida’s Field is an on-farm restaurant based in Nashua, just ten minutes from Bangalow. Hosting three long lunches per...

Create the opportunity for everyone to follow their dreams

Local dance group Sprung!! is an integrated dance theatre that has built a community program that creates space for...

Editorial: The beef about meat

Firstly, let me declare an interest: I have been a vegetarian for 49 years, so tasty cow parts are not high on my agenda.

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Respect for Country

Léandra Martiniello, Whian Whian It is the night of the full moon, I have just watched it rise. On the...

[author]Steve Spencer & Albert Elzinga[/author]

Despite strong winds all week, Chinderah’s historic giant fig tree has stood tall with its limbs intact.

That may not be the case for long, however, as similar weather last year saw of one its limbs collapse. Its owners have opted for a mass pruning to avoid a repeat of the incident, which, despite the tree’s apparent sturdiness, will still take place when the weather improves.

Workmen were poised to begin removing about 30 per cent of the white fig’s branches on Monday but were forced to postpone the operation because of 54km/h wind gusts.

A small number of protestors gathered at the tree early on Monday morning calling for a postponement of the proposed work.

An arboriculture consultant originally recommended giving 60 per cent of the branches the chop to help prevent more limbs from crashing down.

The 132-year-old fig, in the Chinderah Tavern’s car park, is not diseased but burdened by the weight of climbing cactus plants, which put extra strain on the limb, causing it to split and crash down.

President of the Chinderah District Residents Association, Felicia Cecil, says the fig, the oldest in the village, has historical significance for the community and urged the council to order an independent assessment into what can be done to save it.

She said the infestation of cactus and umbrella plants would have been completely removed ‘if they were fair-dinkum’.

‘If they had taken 60 per cent of it down it would almost certainly have died,’ said Mrs Cecil, who believes the tree would be sound if the climbing cactus infestation were completely removed.

‘Our association applied for the tree to be heritage listed by the Tweed Shire Council in the late 80s or early 90s. We know that it was listed but is no longer heritage listed. We don’t know why the listing was removed.’

Mrs Cecil said council should also push for the removal of bitumen, which surrounds the fig’s trunk.

‘Chinderah’s football team had its first meeting under the fig in the 1940s,’ said Mrs Cecil.

‘It would be a terrible loss to the community. So much of the history of Chinderah is attached to that tree.’

Tavern licensee Justin Fletcher refuted the claim that up to 60 per cent of the tree would be removed and said he and the tavern’s owners were committed to keeping the fig tree.

Mr Fletcher said cutting such a large percentage of the tree’s canopy was unnecessary and no hidden agenda to get rid of the tree existed.

He said he would be happy to look at any new data and would pass the information on to the tavern’s owners.

Tweed Greens Cr Katie Milne said she intended to seek an interim heritage order at the next council meeting to give an independent, arboricultural consultant enough time to produce a professional report.

Cr Milne said she was concerned to see the same consultant who advocated a total removal of the tree when it lost a limb some 18 months ago involved again and questioned the necessity of the suggested work.

In September last year Tweed councillors baulked at seeking a fresh heritage order to protect the fig, despite assurances from experts that it was in reasonable health and could last another 100 years.

Murwillumbah arborist Luke McVeigh said the risk was far from significant and statistics proved few were ever injured by falling tree limbs.

‘It’s still a lot more dangerous to cross the road’, Mr McVeigh said.

Image: Cr Katie Milne and arborists Brett Hamlin and Luke McVeigh discuss a report on the historic fig tree at the Chinderah Tavern on Monday. Photo Albert Elzinga


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. This story is biased and sensationalising information to generate community unrest – has anyone sought comment from the consultant who provided the report? crs getting paid to incite community unrest and lazy journalism is a dangerous mix. I thought the echo was above that – very disappointing!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.