MidCoast Council to remove and replace fig trees at Harbour Boulevard, Harrington

The Hill’s fig trees that line both sides of Harbour Boulevard have grown to be a problem, says MidCoast Council.
The Hill’s fig trees that line both sides of Harbour Boulevard have grown to be a problem, says MidCoast Council.

The MidCoast Council parks team are preparing to replace problem trees currently causing extensive, ongoing damage to Harbour Boulevard in Harrington.

Daniel Aldridge, MidCoast Council’s manager of community spaces said the Hill’s fig trees that line both sides of Harbour Boulevard have grown to be a problem, causing on-going damage to the roadway, footpath infrastructure, drainage system and concrete kerbs.

Not only requiring investment to fund renewals for the damaged infrastructure, they pose a danger to those using the footpaths which have lifted to create trip hazards, he said.

“The existing trees are still juvenile, less than 15 years old, so the root system will continue to grow and be destructive. 

“With our current focus on maximising ratepayer dollars in regards to the condition of our roads, it makes sense to replace them sooner rather than later, with a species that will ultimately provide the beauty of a shaded bouvelard without the damage.”

The Hill’s figs will be removed and replaced with an equal number of non-invasive, low maintenance species.

The replanting program will occur in spring, providing suitable conditions to ensure the replacement trees thrive.

The replacement species will be Waterhousea floribunda (weeping lilly pilly) trees, which won’t have the same evasive root system.

This is a medium evergreen tree, which has a broad domed crown reaching a mature height of about 10-15 m by 5-8 m wide. Come spring time white flowers will appear and will last through to mid-summer. Fruit will also grow in spring, 15-20 mm in diameter and green in colour, maturing with a pink to red tinge.

“It’s a long term, value-driven solution and, as a fast-growing species, the weeping lilly pilly is a sensible and aesthetically pleasing replacement option,” Dan said. 

Well-established container specimens will be planted on both sides of Harbour Boulevard in late October.