Historic Gregson Park fig preserved for the future

04 Aug 2020

City of Newcastle has developed a plan with expert arborists to save a historic 100-year-old Port Jackson fig tree in Gregson Park that was facing the chop.

A recent branch break, which typically would have led to the tree being removed, will instead be saved by installing a cable system in the canopy of the tree later this month. Works will include planting a small fence and garden underneath the tree’s drip line, turning it into a special feature piece of Gregson Park. The initial pruning of the tree will start in the next few days.

A successional tree will also be planted close by to ensure the continuity of tree canopy cover in the park in decades to come.

Councillor Carol Duncan said it was crucial that the city’s natural heritage and historic flora and fauna were protected where possible.

“Gregson Park has a rich history as one of Newcastle’s most loved parks, with some trees dating back to the late 19th century,” Councillor Duncan said.

“Preserving Gregson Park’s trees is important because they not only hold sentimental value to us, they also provide habitat for native wildlife such as the threatened Grey-headed Flying Fox, which is the case with this tree.

"City of Newcastle is also excited about the opportunities that will come out of the Gregson Park Masterplan and is looking forward to putting it to the Newcastle community so that they can have their say on the future of the park.”

The park is a locally significant landscape heritage item with a strong sense of identity and has been a popular part of the city for well over a century. City of Newcastle has a positive long-term vision for the space and is in the process of developing the Gregson Park Masterplan, which will be open for community input later this year.

It’s expected the work carried out for this historic fig will extend its life by an extra 20 years. Work will be completed by the end of September.

During construction you can send words of support directly to the staff working to save the tree by visiting our Tree Map (newcastle.nsw.gov.au/tree-planting) and searching for Tree ID 43327.