Diseased tree on Maggie to get the chop

Date published: 7 August 2019

A Bayan fig at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island that has been in decline with a terminal root disease for almost a decade will be removed to protect public safety.

The fig (Ficus benghalensis), located on the esplanade at the end of Yates Street, has finally succumbed to a soil borne fungus Ganoderma, which causes root rot.

The decision to remove the tree has been recommended by the Townsville City Council’s specialist arborist and follows on-going monitoring of the tree’s condition since 2012.

Council’s Community Health and Environment Committee Chair and local divisional councillor Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said the removal of the tree was the last resort.

“The trees in our streets, parks and public spaces are valuable community assets, and Council looks at all options before removing any tree,” Cr Greaney said,

“Unfortunately, the fig tree in Nelly Bay has been slowly dying and has reached the point where it poses a significant risk to the public from falling over.

“Council’s Parks staff delayed an initial plan to remove the tree in March in response to concerns from local residents and conducted further tests on the tree.

“The additional tests, which were carried out at the Queensland herbarium at the Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, confirmed the advanced presence of the fungal disease (Ganoderma) in the tree.”

Council has sent information on the work to local residents and plans to carry out restoration works in the park once the tree has been removed.

Council will plant another Bayan Fig in the area, but not in the same location to avoid contamination of the new tree.

Fig tree in Nelly Bay

Fig tree in Nelly Bay 1

Fig tree in Nelly Bay

Fig tree in Nelly Bay 2

Fig tree in Nelly Bay

Fig tree in Nelly Bay 3