5: Pacific Park, Peter Masters 2019
In all of Newcastle this is one of my favourite trees. I particularly love fig trees and there are many of them around Newcastle, many of them over 100 years old. This particular one sits up in Pacific Park, just near the entry way into Newcastle Beach, not far from the kiosk. It’s worth going and sitting just in front of it and feeling its power and its calm. It’s really worth the effort.
Fig trees are incredible, as I guess all trees are. I’ve just finished reading a book called The Secret Life of Trees and I learnt so much from it. Scientists are beginning to question where the line between the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom begins and ends. If you see trees like this one where the roots have eroded because of the slope that it sits on, you can get a great idea of the brain structure that sits underneath the tree. And if you look at these trees as kind of upside animals with the brain under the ground and the limbs literally sitting above the ground, you can get a feel that they are conscious creatures in many ways.
We certainly know that they communicate with each other. That line of trees where the roots touch is one of the healthiest ways that trees evolve and grow because they are happiest when their roots touch so that they can communicate with the trees along the line. A tree at one end of the line would perhaps get sick from insect infestation, well all the other trees will send it insecticide down the roots and along. A tree that’s sickening and not getting enough nutrients will be sent nutrients by the other trees to help it through its difficult time and to grow. So that kind of communication is a wonderful thing. So when you sit underneath a tree like this one, contemplate that there might just be a level of consciousness there that people have only intuited in the past but scientists are starting to recognise.
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