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Removal of heritage listed Fig Tree from South Brisbane campus

Friday 20 November 2020

Removal of heritage listed Fig Tree from South Brisbane campus

Unfortunately, due to an irreversible fungal disease, one of the beloved Weeping Fig trees that line the Aubigny Place lawn needed to be removed.

The three heritage-listed trees have been an iconic feature of Mater’s landscape for more than 100 years, however during a recent inspection, an arboriculture consultant found that the middle fig tree had Phellinus noxious, an incurable fungus that causes the disease ‘Brown Root Rot’ in trees.

While these historic trees have been meticulously cared for by Mater’s gardeners, this fungus is often found in aging fig trees and is well known to Brisbane City Council as a significant issue for trees of this nature. The disease attacks the tree roots causing decay and cuts off the tree’s water and nutrient supply, ultimately resulting in the death of the tree.

The space where the affected tree once stood will likely to remain empty for some time as the Phellinus noxious fungus can live on in the soil for many years.  A decision on what to do with the space will be made after the soil has been properly treated and recovered.

Photographs were taken to commemorate the natural beauty of the tree and to ensure its place in Mater’s history at South Brisbane.

Given the age of the two remaining fig trees and close proximity to the affected tree, there is a high possibility that they will also succumb to this disease over time. The team will continue to closely monitor them, and assess their condition to support their health and longevity.

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