After some minor delays in extracting the tree and some challenging manoeuvring down Fraser Avenue, the Kings Park arboricultural team have hailed the relocation of an eighty year old Red-flowering Gum a success.Kings Park arboricultural experts and specialist tree contractors have applied their technical skills during the transplant of what is believed to be one of the original Centennial plantings of Red-flowering Gum trees along Fraser Avenue.
Arborist Jeremy Thomas said he believed this would be a world first.
"I believe this is the first time such a tree of this species, size and age has ever been transplanted. We are quietly confident that this effort to conserve the Corymbia ficifolia which is around 80 years old will be a success. The tree stands 13 metres high, has a trunk diameter of almost one metre and a canopy spanning 11 metres in width."
Work to prepare the tree for transplant began a year ago with careful excavation around the root ball to assess root structure and prepare it for relocation. Subsequent regular checks of the roots and tree itself have indicated good tree vigour and root regrowth, suggesting it will transplant well.
The tree has settled well in its new home at this early stage and a custom soil conditioning and watering regime is in development for its longer term. The guying wires installed are to ensure tree stability during its new root establishment phase which may take several years before a true indication of stability can be measured. A pole and rope fence will be installed shortly around this tree to provide some protection whilst not detracting from the tree and the surroundings.
Selective, remedial pruning has been conducted to 'thin' the vegetative canopy that will reduce water loss as a means of compensating for lower water uptake through the pruned roots. Regular inspections will be undertaken over the next 12-24 months to monitor tree condition and performance. It is envisaged that following an initial 12 month re-establishment period, this Red-flowering Gum will begin to regain its former splendour.
The tree was located on the corner where Fraser Avenue intersects with the main carpark access road and needed to be transplanted due to the widening of the intersection. It now stands with pride of place near The Lodge just off the entry to Kings Park.
The widening of the intersection is part of the Fraser Avenue Ceremonial Walk project that will enhance the dignity and function of the State War Memorial precinct by creating a pedestrian zone between the main carpark, the Botanic Garden entry and the State War Memorial area. This will improve pedestrian access and safety with through traffic diverted along an upgraded road behind the commercial precinct.