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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Condong White Fig, revisited.

Its been almost ayear since I posted about the very accomodating Angie near the sugar mill at Condong Veteran fig tree at Condong (right click and select open in new window). Well after a lovely morning spent walking through the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve hunting orchids I was driving past this beautiful Ficus yet again. I put a short video together during this visit; Condong White Fig (right click and select open in new window).

I cannot convey just how much in awe I am of figs of this age, they truely are magnificent...amazingly Angie is really only a medium sized specimen.

This year her new leaves were without the heavy sooty mould and insect pests that have been so evident on other visits.

The very bad, and wild  weather we have been having recently had resulted in the failure of a small live limb (100mm diameter) from the upper canopy which was lying on the ground and another which although twisted around 270 degrees was still attached in the canopy.

Doubtless largely due to the very free draining aluvial soils beneath her, there are no surface growing buttresses visible on common with larger older figs of this species when grown on less favourable soil conditions.

The impact of the aluvial soils on healthy root growth is something that is in her favour, sadly the proximity of the road is not, and I fear that the consequences of more recent road widening will significantly impact on the Angie's longevity.

It is heartening to note as I did nearly a year ago that Tweed Shire have recognised the importance of this inspiring veteran tree.

She would (IMO) still benefit hugely from a mulch layer being applied over the grass area (out as far as possible)


  1. Very nice.

    The road widening? When was it done? Flicking between the pics between previous post and now, the road looks the same, just the canopy had perhaps widened some (perspective distortion between lenses not considered).

    Though, pessimism shining through, I do like how the Tweed Shire recognised the tree by driving a screw into it.

    Are you adding these trees to the Big Tree register as you document them? Even though, you say, it's a medium-sized?

  2. Hi SOP, the road widening would have happened some where in the 1980's.

    I doubt very much if the tech screw is a significant factor in the long term health of this tree.

    Yes the tree is on the Veteran Tree Register, Tweed (I believe) have it on their significant tree register.

    The "Big tree register" is something different, it can be found here
    it is being collated by Derek McIntosh.

    This White fig at Condon although big compared to many other trees is medium sized compared to other White Figs of a similar age we have encountered around SE Queensland. This is largely due to the fact that it has been significantly reduced (cut) to accomodate the road, it was also impacted by a very bad storm some 10/15yrs ago.

  3. Yes, I understand it's not a massive tree, nor a winner, but at the moment, I see that 'Big Tree Register' being one of the 'potentially' best ways to plan a tourist trip based around significant tree visits. I scanned through and only saw 3 Ficus virens listed.

    Is there anywhere else significant trees around the country, can be viewed in one location, with pictures, besides this blog?

    And I was joking about the screw, still, if it were me, I'd put it on a bollard or two.

  4. At the moment the Big Tree Register administered by Derek is the only National one.

    Each State and Territory have their own Heritage Register and some of those include trees and gardens in their listings. Often local areas Towns and even villages will have heritage trails or walks, and again some of these include historic or notable trees.

    The VTGA register is only just starting out but eventually we hope to have a site which is user friendly and interactive...permitting viewers to move across the country virtually and locate many of the significant trees still standing.

    It is as you might imagine a big project that will take time and lots of hard work..all of which has to be fitted in between the paying work.

    The National Trust is often a good starting point, also the local council Heritage unit (if they have one)..local libraries are often good places for contact info and direction to the best local resources in this regard.

  5. Local is good, but in this day and age, trawling through local libraries looking for Old Man River, who may or may know where the significant trees is less efficient than it needs to be. My Council has no online presence of significant/Heritage trees whatsoever.

    And I find the niche areas that the 'Big Tree' and 'Veteran' or 'Heritage' Registers may address perhaps could leave a lot of worthy trees without somewhere to belong and without a presence extending beyond their drip line.

    Take a local issue for example. Alma Park Zoo, on the northside of Brisbane. It has a large, several hectare rainforest area, with, I hear, 30 year old planned Ficus trailing over rock (for example) in areas. Large, significant trees which have recently been labelled residential and potentially ready for destruction. Not heritage, not veteran, not overly large but still beautiful.

    Check the Google Map link, you can even see a large Ficus macrophylla with roots running parallel with the road, towering over both lanes as you head East on Alma Rd.,+Queensland&sll=-25.335448,135.745076&sspn=40.472201,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=Alma+Park+Zoo,&hnear=Queensland&ll=-27.227659,152.989004&spn=20.166168,39.506836&z=5&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=-27.227659,152.989004&panoid=g2vfr5wGD9XJco7rimhLnA&cbp=12,90.09,,0,-15.62

    I'm planning a photo opportunity before it's gone forever (if the developers choose that route).

  6. SOP, unfortunately these things do take time and effort...we all have to do some work to make sure that the things we value are at least recognised and considered.

    If you look at what we define our scope as you will see that our title "Veteran" does not exclude trees that are notable, or locally significant.

    Having trees that you or anyone else considers to be significant recognised as constraints on planning applications is something that will take a long time. Planning schemes are not easy to change and it would seem to me that environmental/cultural/historical/amenity considerations tend not to have the highest priority at the moment.

    It would seem to many of us that it is a question of presenting the arguement that the value and importance of the particular tree/s is recognised and taken into consideration.

    It would also seem that the draft version of the new Queensland law being promulgated regarding trees and neighbours is not going to help in this regard.