A large fig tree at the intersection of Dalley Street and Jubilee Avenue in Mullumbimby was removed on Wednesday September 2 because of the risk it posed to pedestrians and drivers.
Council staff say an arborist assessment again determined that it had deteriorated to the point where it was a risk and needed to be removed.
Open Space Technical Officer Andy Erskine said in recent months there had been a significant decline in the condition of the crown, and an increase in the decay and fungal infection areas in the lower trunk.
He said, ‘The Slime fungus is normally only a problem for trees that are distressed and unfortunately I think the dry weather in December and January really took a toll on this tree,’ Mr Erskine said.
‘An arborist has again assessed the tree and his professional opinion now is that it has deteriorated to the point where it is a risk and needs to be removed.’
Celebrating Mullum ceding from Byron Shire…
This tree and many others were planted by the Mullumbimby High School children in 1958 long time local Barry Lomath told Echonetdaily.
‘In 1908 Mullumbimby broke away from the Byron Shire and 1958 was the Jubilee.’
The street from the location of this fig tree down to the Cop-op was renamed Jubilee Avenue to mark the fifty years of Mullumbimby being ‘the biggest little town in Australia’. Previously that stretch of road had been a continuation of Dalley Street.
‘There were fig trees planted down both sides of the street,’ said Barry.
Jubilee gates were also installed at the oval, now named the Barry Lomath Oval, opposite the High School, to mark the occasion.
‘Most of the figs are gone now. They caused a range of problems with roots damaging houses, footpaths and roads,’ said Barry.
‘When they were planted there was no swimming pool, when that was put in and then there was a footpath put in many of trees were removed.’
Mullumbimby was brought back into the fold of Byron Shire Council in 1980.
Another tree to be planted
‘Council is very aware of the importance our community places on the natural environment, particularly trees, but the last thing we want is for this tree to drop limbs unexpectedly on vehicles or pedestrians’, said Mr Erskine.
‘Our priority always has to be the safety of our community.
‘If suitable, the timber from the fig tree will be saved and incorporated into projects around the Byron Shire.
‘Another tree will also be planted to replace the fig. Before planting anything we will need to ascertain through testing that the soil is not infected with the pathogen that is killing the fig. A replacement fig would be appropriate but if it is deemed as risky to use the same species we may propose a different local native species that has similar attributes of broad canopy and deep shade.’