Cairns Regional Council says two of three arborists have determined that a much-loved fig tree in Freshwater is too diseased to save.

The Richmond Park tree, estimated to be between 60 and 65 years old, will be removed later this month in the interests of public safety.

In May, a large branch fell onto a parked car, prompting the Council to create an exclusion zone and investigate the tree’s health.


Three investigators, including Council’s senior arborist, an independent arborist and an arborist engaged by the Stratford and Freshwater Community Association (SAFCA) assessed the tree.

“We were happy to accommodate this request and took into account the findings of SAFCA’s report when deciding on what action to take,” said Division 6 Councillor Kristy Vallely.


“Both the Council report and that of the independent arborist share the opinion that the tree is past the point of effective treatment.

“Given the tree is irrefutably in decline and deteriorating, it will likely continue to shed limbs until it finally dies, which is an unacceptable risk to the public."

The investigations found several widespread fungal infections throughout the tree, including two - Ganoderma sp. and Pyrrhoderma noxium -  which are aggressive and incurable.


Council said years of car parking under the tree contributed to its ill health by compacting the soil under the canopy and damaging roots.

The exclusion zone will remain in place while a public notification period is conducted, with the tree scheduled for removal in the week beginning August 15.

A new tree will be planted in its place.


Main points

  • A fig tree at Richmond Park tennis club will be removed in the interests of public safety
  • Two of three arborists found fungal outbreaks in the tree are aggressive and incurable
  • In May, a branch from the tree fell onto a parked car
It is always disheartening to remove any tree, particularly one that has such significance to the community.