A focus on tree health and the preservation of history has led to the creation of a fig tree garden in Alexandra Park, Bundaberg.
The first stage of the garden is currently under development with an extensive planting program under way that will see the area filled with about 2000 native plants including groundcovers, ferns and grasses used to create a vibrant understorey.
Bundaberg Regional Council Parks and Gardens portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said the project would create another area for families to enjoy in the popular park.
“The historic fig trees in Alexandra Park are an important part of our history and they lend so much character to this park,” Cr Honor said.
“This space will focus on the protection and preservation of these trees and ensure the community can continue to enjoy them.
“The fig tree garden will be a peaceful area where residents can come to enjoy the stunning views of the river and the sounds of the birds and the trees as they sway in the breeze.”
Fig Tree Garden project improves tree health
Council’s parks and gardens team has been working to improve the health of the fig trees over the past 12 months.
Project supervisor Greg Hart said a range of initiatives including increased mulching and the protection of aerial roots have already improved the health of the decades-old trees.
“Over a 12 month cycle we’ve been placing a lot more organic matter around the base of the trees to increase natural microbial activity within the soil profile,” Greg said.
“We’ve also been nurturing the aerial roots by protecting them with a modified PVC sleeve so they have the best chance of attaching to the ground without interference from people or strong winds.
“The aerial roots are an adaptive trait exhibited by the figs which are used to extract extra moisture and nutrition and increase stability.
“These measures, and increased irrigation, have seen an improvement in tree health.
“The first indicative sign is extra vegetational growth, we’ve seen an increase in the vigour of the trees themselves and reduced symptoms of decay which we were seeing beforehand.”
Now the mammoth job of planting out the fig tree garden is underway and Greg said his team was excited to be part of the project.
“We’re looking to create an understory environment using eight different varieties of shrubbery.
“All of the plants we are using are natives and will create a lovely, lush atmosphere.
“The nice variety and diversity of different foliage types and colours will create quite a beautiful aesthetic environment.”