Not the Tempe Fig, but another oldie in the grounds of St Stevens Church in Newtown

Not the Tempe Fig, but another oldie in the grounds of St Stevens Church in Newtown

A number of residents informed me that work has started at the Ikea development on the Princes Highway in Tempe.  They were worried about the Fig trees on the site saying that development had started around the trees. They said with concern that the very old rose garden has been destroyed.  Seems like the locals are regularly checking on these trees.

There are a number of stories about what is really going to happen to the 2 trees.  Some people believe the trees & the heritage building will be staying as is & the development will be built around them.  Others believe that the trees will be lifted up & replanted in another location.  I personally hope this is not the case.  I can’t see how a tree of this size will cope with being transplanted.

So, I went & had a look. The site is visible from the highway.  Huge concrete slabs have been lifted from the ground surrounding the Fig tree, which I have been told is one of the 2 oldest Figs in Australia. There are differing opinions about this as well & I’ll have to find out about this.

I had previously been told that the Fig tree near McDonalds was the oldest & is the tree around which the book My Place, by local author Nadia Wheatley, was centred.

The two trees are magnificent.  The Fig that is visible from the highway is a beautiful specimen.  It has been allowed to grow naturally, so its shape is like a massive bowl with many branches spreading out to the side.   I would love a close look at both of them.  The other Fig is behind the building & only its top can be seen.  Both look to be very healthy & I hope they survive the development.

If Marrickville Council doesn’t have a Significant Tree Register, do they have something else in place that protects trees of such historical value?  Can a Heritage Order be put on a tree?  This is something else for me to research.

It seems like the locals are regularly checking on these trees & please Marrickville Council, please do what you can to ensure that neither of these trees are damaged or built too close to.  The locals feel great pride about these trees & want them to be allowed to live on for future generations.  So do I.

More about this when I have done some research & spoken with Council.