An old, giant Moreton Bay fig tree (Ficus macrophylla) located in North Booval has become a protected “character place” in Ipswich.
Planning, Development and Heritage Committee Chairperson Cr David Morrison said the tree has a wide and extensive canopy and buttress root system.
“The nominated Moreton Bay Fig tree is approximately 18m in height with an approximate canopy diameter of 30m,” he said.
“An arboriculture consultant attended the site and gave an approximate appraisal of age, with around 270 years, predating European settlement in Australia.
“This age appraisal took the surrounding buildings and their development into consideration, the topography with water availability and the size of the root crown and buttress roots.
“The ‘rusty leaved’ Moreton Bay Fig tree is the oldest known tree of this genus in the city. The tree is an exceptional example of its type and is in good condition with minimal past damage from storms.
“While located at the rear of the property the tree canopy is visible from surrounding areas. The tree, affectionately known as King Arthur, was a major reason for purchase with the current owners.”
Cr Morrison said the tree satisfied the listing criteria of the planning scheme in that it “demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the City’s cultural heritage”.
Currently, the area is listed as a character place, along with additional Jacaranda trees on a nearby property. The listing details for these properties will be amended to include the Moreton Bay Fig tree.
“It is considered that the extent of significance is the tree in its entirety. Notwithstanding, the listing boundary of the tree will be shown as a radius of 10m from the exterior of the trunk at a point measured 2m up the trunk to reflect the extent of the trunk/buttress roots and root system,” Cr Morrison said.