This trunk of this lovely Fig tree is 80% hollow.  The trunk will become habitat for wildlife in another location.

This trunk of this lovely Fig tree is 80% hollow. The trunk will become habitat for wildlife in another location.

I had a very pleasant & interesting meeting with a staff member of Marrickville Council at Enmore Park last Friday.  The meeting was to discuss the old Fig trees up for removal.  For more details & photos of trees to be removed in Enmore Park see –  http://bit.ly/19LIErT

In a nutshell, the news is good.

In my submission I asked that Council consider using the trunk of tree 107 as a public artwork for the municipality if the tree is removed.  I did not want this fabulous tree trunk to be put through the wood-chipper.  See photos below.

It was explained that this Fig tree has a very limited lifespan left & because of a number of factors is not doing well (soil, lack of light, epicormic growth, poor soil).  It will be removed & a replacement Fig planted nearby with room for this new tree to grow a full canopy, not restricted by other Fig trees as this one is.

Council will retain the beautiful trunk of the tree that is removed.  A Tender has been proposed for inclusion in Marrickville Art Post calling for a sculptor interested in creating a public artwork using this tree trunk.  The completed work will be installed somewhere in the municipality where it can continue to delight, albeit with some changes & Enmore Park’s natural history will live on.

I also asked Council to consider making the trunk of tree 104 habitat for hole-dependent wildlife.  The trunk was inspected & found to have limited appeal to wildlife, as it was open to the sky above making it less likely to be chosen as a home by birds, possums & other wildlife.  However, the trunk will be retained & taken to a re-vegetation site in the municipality to be laid on its side & left as more usable & attractive habitat for wildlife.   As it decays it will also provide nutrient to the soil.  This is a great outcome.

We also spoke about the Fig tree that I had missed when I visited this park.  The tree has numerous large cavities & obviously presents a significant risk, as it is located at the edge of the park next to the footpath & Victoria Road.  I have no doubt that this tree needs to be removed.  I was very pleased to be told that the trunk of this tree will also be taken to a re-vegetation site in the municipality to be laid on its side & become habitat for wildlife.   It is great for Council to be using trees in this way.

The Fig trees in Enmore Park will have the grass removed from around their trunks & the ground covered in mulch.  This will help them considerably.  All six Figs will be replaced with other Figs, retaining the lovely look of Enmore Park.  Succession planting is important to do if we don’t want to find ourselves in a position where most of the trees have reached a stage where the only option is mass removal & an denuded park.

I thank Marrickville Council for being open to ideas on using these trees.  I think that many in the community will be happy that the tree trunks of two trees will be used to create habitat elsewhere.  Tree holes are hard to come by these days.  I also think there are going to be some really happy wildlife, as both tree trunks offer excellent housing.  The trunks will also add to the appeal & beauty of the re-vegetation sites, as fallen trees are a natural look.

As for turning the fantastically beautiful & interesting old Fig tree trunk into public art – well this is very exciting to me.  I am so happy Council was open to this request.  I just wish I were a sculptor so I could apply for the opportunity to work with this tree trunk myself.

I think the community of all ages will find the artwork not only interesting, but will appreciate that Council has done something meaningful to retain an important piece of our natural history.   I can’t wait to see the finished piece.   I found the Marrickville Council staff member to be seriously interested in my thoughts & very accommodating answering my questions.  It was a great meeting & most importantly, a great outcome for local wildlife & local art.

One section of the trunk of the Fig tree that may become public art.

One section of the trunk of the Fig tree that may become public art.

Looking further up the trunk of the Fig tree that may become public art.

Looking further up the trunk of the Fig tree that may become public art.

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