Tree doctor visits Kings Square

19th January 2018

The City of Fremantle has called in expert help in further efforts to save the iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree in Kings Square.

Earlier this week Melbourne-based arboricultural consultant Cameron Ryder joined City officers to inspect the iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree, located next to the church in Kings Square. The treee  is estimated to be more than 120 years old.

Mr Ryder has 15 years of experience in the industry, providing advice to clients including local, state and federal governments, private developers and architects.

Due to their advancing age the City of Fremantle has been monitoring the health of the fig trees in Kings Square and other parts of Fremantle since 2008.

In February last year the City engaged a bioscientist to conduct sampling and testing on the Kings Square fig tree after it started showing signs of distress.

In July and September the tree was given an injection of a naturally occurring enzyme in the hope that it would boost the tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and help it recover, but so far its condition has not improved.

The paving around the base of the tree was removed just after Christmas.

The City and the arborist believe there  could be a number of reasons for the tree’s declining health including work done in the 1980s, with the retaining wall and the paving making it hard for the tree to absorb water and nutrients. It could also could just be old age.

The City of Fremantle has removed the paving, added mulch and will contunue to fertilise and water the tree in accordance with the arborist's advice. This is being supported by a monitoring program to assess any change in the tree's health over time.

There will also be further  tests done to see if there’s any phytophthora, or dieback, in the soil.